Finally – at long last – the old desks were taken to the basement for storage.
There they sat for two decades -surplus to requirements, replaced by moulded plastic, steel and aluminum – gathering dust and shedding memories.
The lidded oak desks from the third form room across from the hallway pressed against the ones with the inkwells on the right-hand top corner for the right-handed children to dip their nibs and the left-handed ones to blot their copybooks more than average.
The top surface grained and scored by use and the marks of wear and penknives. For we all carried knives – how could we sharpen our pencils without them?
Dark stained with the grease and grime of sweaty fingers, countless arms and weary elbows. And there – now cribbed cabined and confined like the children they once contained – they rub their knees and shoulders, cheek by jowl. Remaindered.
All is silent now. No sounds of chalk upon the board. No whispers of rumors from desk to desk. No distant torturing sounds of the mower in the hayfield across the road hidden from sight by the tall windows set high on the wall (to prevent distraction.) No bell. No scrapping of chairs as we stand to greet the entrance of the teacher sweeping in, gown flying to chant out our “Good mornings”.
One size fit all. Once – in neat rows, some fixed to the floor. But now the desks from every level higgledy-piggledy together gathering dust. Obsolete. Unwanted.
In the basement.
#Blimage – in response to Blimey! It’s #blimage by Steve Wheeler