Behind the boiler

Occasionally a magazine or web site will run photographs of writers' spaces.  Now, I presume they are tidied, fluffed, and art-directed before the photograph is taken--I've never seen one with a crumb-covered plate or even a decent layer of random paper.  But even taking that into account, they tend to look kind of artistic, with interesting curios, favorite chairs, antique desks, that kind of thing.

I work behind the boiler in my basement.  Now, this is not as grim as it might be--the basement is fairly dry, the walls are painted white, we removed the asbestos.  But...once I brought home a Taunton Press book on basements.  If you've ever looked at a Taunton Press book for ideas on how to redo your kitchen, or your attic, or your orangerie, you know that they don't really give you any information useful to a normal person.  In this case, none of the basements were actually underground.  They all seemed to be part of houses built into hills, so at least one wall actually had windows that looked out on something.  It was pretty annoying, actually.

I don't have windows that look down on anything.  I work by artificial life, day and night.  I've covered the walls with geologic maps of Canyonlands and the Grand Canyon (lots of nice colors).  I have books all around me.  My desk is a butcher block door on two filing cabinets that I've had ever since my first apartment, a long time ago.  I have to put on headphones when someone is watching the TV, which is in the other part of the basement.  There are worse things.

Still, I'd like a nicer space.  I'd like the kind of space a magazine might print.  Someday, maybe.