Last weekend I bought a bookcase, 3 ft. x 4 ft., at a resale shop for $5. I seriously doubt it’s real wood, but it’s upright, has three shelves, and stands on its own. My little bargain hunt has launched a renaissance; I feel transformed.
I needed a bookcase (three of them, really) because books are stacked everywhere: cupboards, closets, the floor, countertops, chairs, everywhere. Even so, it wasn’t a snap decision; I dithered. Over a 5 dollar expense. It’s hard to justify spending money on luxuries when I’m saving for a computer.
In the end, it came down to knowing I’d be sorry if I didn’t pony up. I’d only spend more later, guaranteed. So I paid the money, hauled it to the car, and wrestled it into the trunk where it sat for the better part of two days. I needed to figure out where to put it, what to move where, practical things — and it took two days.
I’m not practical. But I’m learning.
Now it’s in, dusted, polished, shelves adjusted, and filled to bursting. My books are gathered and the world has been righted on its axis. Almost magically, the room feels like a home. Four long, arduous years later, I can begin to let go of the bunker mentality and settle in. It’s a lovely feeling, having a refuge. The all-too-familiar dread of coming home is subsiding, slowly but surely.
Factors other than the bookcase played a part, of course. Namely, the imminent departure of the woman upstairs — which cannot be overstated. A less cluttered, more spacious environment helps, too. But the most surprising impact comes from my thyroid — I’m still recovering functions and abilities. Isn’t that amazing?
That wee juggernaut was shut down more than four years ago, yet I continue to regain abilities I’d long ago forgotten. Muscles and confidence and shiny hair, my old handwriting, self-control, lucidity, all kinds of handy, useful qualities.
Who knew a used bookcase would have such life altering consequences? It is, unquestionably, the best $5 I ever spent. To celebrate my tight-fisted bounty I splurged on a new book — But What If We’re Wrong: Thinking About The Present As If It Were The Past by Chuck Klosterman.
It caught my eye, so I picked it up and read the first line, “I’ve spent most of my life being wrong.” Next thing I knew I was plunking down my debit card. I didn’t dither, I didn’t hesitate; I paid the $26 with complete forethought. Which proves the more things change, the more they stay the same: I’m still a sucker for a great line. It’s kryptonite.
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