by Jim Novak
I share a small desk in the dank T.A. office with one of my very good friends. Both of us are in our third and final year of this lovely M.F.A. program so we are trying to assemble manuscripts, meet with students from the classes we teach, and read for classes we're taking, all in the same space that's about as big as a bucket seat in a nice conversion van. Our similarities go beyond books and writing and teaching; we are both a little messy. Some of the stuff on our desk include four dirty coffee mugs, seven AWP magazines, and a box of Kosher instant Mashed Potatoes. I'm not trying to make any enemies here, but once I found a greasy receipt for Chinese food stuck between two books. Despite all of the clutter, I like living with some else's mess and giving someone my mess back. This by no means is a weird Minnesotan passive-aggressive attempt to zing my deskmate. I truly like being in her mess because each day I find something different.
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