Saturday, September 28

The One I Wanted

I saw it in a thrift store, not marked for sale, but I measured it for size anyway. I'd already been looking for a week or two and hadn't found anything good. This one was different, unique, lovely. Old dried gum was stuck to the side, and I was already imagining cleaning it off. It held stacks of old coffee cups which looked like they would crack into each other if you looked at one.

This was a shelf made for books. This was a display. The spines would angle upward to the approaching reader like a heartfelt offering.

I asked if they'd sell. Not interested.

Still thinking about it and unable to find another shelf, I asked again two weeks later, this time with a suggested price. Not interested without a replacement to hold the mugs.

The next week, I bought a shelf for a replacement and asked again.

Not interested ever.

I may have sulked. Later I may have shed a tear (or had a nasty cry for a few minutes) as I put together the replacement shelf for myself.

Sorry, awesome bookshelf. Your destiny is to hold stacked coffee cups nobody wants instead of displaying books that will be read. I wanted to save you, enjoy you, reclaim you for your intended purpose. Take you to my new house the next time I move. But the future I imagined wasn't to be.

I couldn't save you.

And instead I got the substitute that was never meant for books. But it will do for now.

It's ugly. And not what I wanted.

But it has books on it; they're no longer stacked on the floor. And my room looks like a room.


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