The Bookshelf


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 me 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. That 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 to take it home 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 for an answer. 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 once more. 

The Bookshelf