Last night I dragged myself home after the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event in our office, laced up my running shoes and set out on a three-mile run. It turned out to be a ghostly sprint through the neighborhood.
It was about 10 p.m., and a wild wind and drenching rain convinced me to wear a hat and pull my sweatshirt’s hood around my face. As I was stupidly pushing through this weather I kept seeing brief flashes of white off to the side from the porthole of my hood.
After the third white thing, which I had to jump over, I slowed my pace a bit to see what the hell these white things were. After running by a couple more houses, I got my answer.
They were white pressboard pieces of furniture that my neighbors had dragged to the curb for “large-item pickup day.” It’s a twice-annual event in our town, when you can drag almost anything to the curb and the city’s garbage contractors will pick it up without complaint. Couches, beds, lawnmowers are common.
But even more common are these furniture-shaped objects made from crappy white melamine.
They are usually broken in some small way. There might be a bunch of white drawers on top of them. And they are everywhere. I counted 12 more on the remainder of my run.
And as I slowed my pace in front of our house I was soaked and disappointed as I thought how my neighbors would be off to Target to buy some slightly more fashionable melamine things that I’d have to leap over in another couple years.
We have nothing at our curb for large-item pickup day. I opened my front and was greeted by the sight of the bookcase I finished last month for our front room.
It was good to be home.
— Christopher Schwarz