Lab Desk

Lab Desk | Seattle, WA | October 2019

A priest once told me that what’s on a desk reveals what’s in the soul. His desk was crowded with Brazilian statues of a tortured Christ — nails piercing hands, thorns spiking eyeballs, guts spilling from the spear wound. Years later, another supervisor had a display of family photos with his ex-wife’s face replaced by an ape’s. Still later, in my job as a bookseller, I delivered thrillers to a rural funeral director who had hundreds of Beanie Babies stacked around his desk, on office shelves, in the coffin room. He thought it cheered grieving customers, but it was mostly creepy. So … seems to me the priest was probably right. A work cubicle or desk “personalized” with photos and mementos will often disclose a soul’s pride and — is that a lace garter from Vegas? — a few pockmarks.

[In photo: A huge multi-legged critter (arachnid? crustacean?) overlooks a biology workspace at the Burke Museum.]