Have you ever suddenly realized that you were lost in a reverie and possibly had been for quite a while? I do that routinely being a bit spacey at times. What surprised me the other day was what I had been lost musing about. I had come to with a start with the notion that I had been staring under my desk wondering just what it would be like to crawl under there. A bit odd of a concept, even for me and believe me, I typically only post the tame stuff.

But anyway, there I had been, staring at the space under my desk. It’s an old behemoth of a desk, some kind of veneer paneled wood L shaped monstrosity from the 80s that takes at least three engineers and a dolly to move. Each corner has those nifty slide out boards where I can literally lock myself into the desk if I have them both out for extra space. As if I need more space. The main section is at least 5x3, the other angle is about 2.5 x 3. It’s a good size desk with lots of nifty room underneath. It even has a partition down so people can’t see my legs which would nicely hide me down beneath.

So there I was realizing I could just crawl under the desk. Loki came, my reverie must have been deep. He looked at me thoughtfully, He watches, They both do as I’ve had much going on lately. He leaned against the desk and said, ‘Sure, you can crawl under there. You may even find it comforting but it won’t change anything.’

Damn it. My reverie hadn’t included the thought that I was trying to hide, trying to seek comfort. Maybe I was. But I’ll avoid that issue now and continue on with my under-desk musings. See, a little pillow, one of those stickum shelves for picnic items, a book. I’d be set. If I really wanted to go to town I could check out the recent Playgirl and stick the centerfold on the ‘roof’ of my under desk cubby. Thinking of that, I should check and see if there is anything there now. Nope, just looked. The under desk spaces are clean and pristine just waiting for my special touch.

It isn’t as though I don’t have other oddities stuffed on and about my desk. I won’t even address my altars here at work that no one notices. Nor the baby arm, the larynx, the lungs, heart, or human head I have lying about. Well, alright, I'll mention them. A work colleague came into my office the other day and joked about the morbidity of a baby arm in my desk. She noticed the other items and with a joking reference to The Silence of the Lambs asked if I ate them. ‘No. They are plastic. I can’t eat them. But I can masturbate to them.’ She looked at me in horror but is a bit used to the peculiarity of my tongue and just uncomfortably laughed and made a quick exit. Blessed quiet again.

I look at the glow-in-the-dark glass jellyfish duo I have, the skull with the dead rose in it, the cactus collection in honor of the summer it was 90 degrees in my office, the picture with a cranky old lady saying, ‘Think globally, get as far away from me as you can’ and I realize an under desk cubby, a fort, isn’t that far off. I look at my picture of the chick taking a piss taped to one of the slide out boards- no it isn’t a fetish picture it’s a story there but what you are thinking is probably far more fun so I’ll leave you to your giggle or raised eyebrows rather than explain the banality of that particular picture. I think of the box of condoms that oddly showed up in one of the drawers. They all have hearts on them with Amore written on the label in huge red letters. Where they came from I don’t know, why a celibate ended up with a full box of condoms in her work desk drawer just opposite from the chick taking a piss picture is beyond me. I’ve always attributed it to a fluke of Loki’s sense of humor. I certainly didn’t put them there and I’d had the desk for years before they, uh, arrived one day. They are still there, a reminder to the wyrd of my life.

I realized that under desk space would actually be a fort. Remember building forts when you were a child? I do, we all did it at least a few times. Later that evening I had been talking to a friend and realized it really was a fort I had been thinking of. A place to get away, to let the imagination run wild, to escape the mundane- or not so mundane- life one leads. As adults we don’t do this, we don’t build forts. Why not? If we do anything similar we build barriers, walls, things that cloister us off from others, separate us from our own curiosity and imaginations.

But a fort, that’s different. A fort invites curiosity, smiles, games. A fort not only provides the solace of creative solitude but at times teasingly begs for friends, ‘come and play’ you can hear it whisper. My friend and I have been planning a scary movie night. So why not? We can set up the chairs, drape the blankets over and around, lay on the floor with a bunch of pillows and a window towards the movie we probably won’t even watch. We’ll laugh so hard the blankets will get knocked off and even my nine and seven year old kids will wander away thinking us to be insane.

But… wouldn’t that be fun? For just a few hours to suspend that adult mentality, the burden of our years and just put together a fort and eat s’mores? The advantage we’ll have as adults is that we can drink! Everyone should do this once in a while. It wouldn’t matter if you are male or female. There would be some kind of fort that one could build that would be fun. A fort in the woods with friends, two teams and squirt guns. A tree house, invite your friends over to paint whatever they want on the walls while you potluck the hours away. Wouldn’t it just be healthy to do so once in a while?

So I think I’m going to build a fort. A place to be creative, to imagine the would be and could be. A place I can invite a friend or two, yes I’ll probably have to cajole and twist some arms but they’ll eventually climb in and when they do I’ll see them forget adulthood, forget those grown up responsibilities and stresses for just a little while and just be. We’ll laugh and smile and it will be a secret that only we share, an inner child joy that we rekindle and vow never to forget again.

I’ll build a fort and just be.

Let’s Go Live in a Tree House
A tree house, a free house,
A secret you and me house,
A high up in the leafy branches
Cozy as can be house

A street house, a neat house
Be sure to wipe your feet house
Is not my kind of house at all-
Let’s go live in a tree house.
~Shel Silverstein

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