Last Saturday I went to the grocery store, when I got to the parking lot I saw a furniture store next to it. It was an instinct what made me walk inside. I walked through the lighting section and a shot of memories exploded in my mind, I kept walking. I wasn’t looking at anything nor paying attention to my memories, that because were so many it was impossible to think about them, it was easy to just feel them.
Suddenly I saw it, right there, in front of me, the bookshelf. I read its description trying to find something that would tell it was a different piece of furniture. But the color, the size, the texture, everything was exactly as I remember, it was the bookshelf. There were no feelings, no reaction on me, I was in shock.
I looked at it and admired its perfection. I kept my distance because I was afraid to touch it, if before I liked it, now it was a sacred thing to me. Something inside told me to be quiet, if the bookshelf realizes that I was there, it would get mad. So in silence and in secret I stayed there, just looking at it.
Not so long ago, when I was in college, I wanted a bookshelf. I looked in many places, I saw a few that would do what I wanted but they were just missing something. I could not find the right one. Some friends told me to look for it online, that in that way would be easier to find what I was looking for. But I wanted a different experience, I did not want my bookshelf to be something I saw for first time on a screen, I wanted to see it for real, and to know that it was what I was looking for in the first time. I wanted to touch it, to feel it, it was something I could not do online, it was required to be a face to face search.
The third day of February I found it, before jumping on it I read its description and it was perfect. I wanted to take it home right away, but not wanting to rush things up I decided to be back the next day. I couldn’t stop thinking about the smell of the wood, that day I walked over its sillage all day long–I still do.
For years I went back to the store to look at the bookshelf. I made plans, I pictured in my mind how it would look like in my room, what things I would put on it, I even imagined a plant named Argos on top of the bookshelf. And the bookshelf was always there waiting for me. But I was afraid to buy it; I knew it was what I wanted, and it wanted me to, but that fear of making the decision was always present. The bookshelf got tired of me and one day it wasn’t there anymore. I didn’t know if someone bought it or if it was sent to another store, I just knew it was gone and with it my plans to have it.
I emailed the company requesting them to bring it back, but no one gave an answer. I did not hear back from the bookshelf ever again. Its departure taught me the overwhelming of a NO. It was not until I faced its abandonment when I knew the perpetuity of a NO.
That is why, out of nowhere, in a different country and many years apart, I was in shock when I saw the bookshelf again. I knew that the bookshelf didn’t want me anymore, and I knew that I should not touch it, I should not make any move, I should not get any closer. I knew that all I could do was to keep my distance, and in silence and in secret I admired the grace of its curvy finishes.
Soon will be Saturday, and again I will make a detour on my way to the grocery store to, in silence and in secret, look at the bookshelf.