“These instructions don’t make sense,” I said out loud. “I’ve wasted an hour of my life with this thing and I still don’t see which part goes where.” The culprit: a do-it-yourself dresser with instructions loosely translated from Chinese. The pictures weren’t helping either. A first grader could’ve done a better job.
“Maybe you’re just not looking hard enough,” A said from the kitchen. “Let me try.”
I handed the frail sheet of paper to him. “It says ‘attaching Piece C and take to Piece M with a #3 screw.’ Sounds simple enough.”
He looked up from the instructions to find me in a sea of wood and screws. “Now, problem is… which is which?”
“That’s what I’m trying to figure out,” I said in a gray tone. In my head, I was thinking we should’ve just gotten the ready made kind. I wouldn’t mind shelling a few more pesos if it meant not having to do this. But it was too late to think about that and besides, it wouldn’t really do either of us any good.
He sat beside me on the dusty cement floor as we tried to match wood planks to shaky illustrations. On his face, you could see he was starting to get worried.
And then it dawned on me. These are the moments that make up life. And though forever may seem like a long time, if I were to fill it up with moments just like this- him and me sweating, screwdriver in one hand, blind hope in the other- I’m pretty sure the hours would pass us by.
I got up, unearthed the toolbox from the mountains of boxes the moving company delivered and brought out a hammer and some nails.
“How’s this for do-it-yourself?” I announced as I held the hammer in the air like a madman ready for vengeance. I started hammering the pieces together, trying my darndest to make it look like the picture on the box. When I was done, it looked decent enough despite the fact that we had about three or four orphaned planks with nowhere to go.
“It looks wobbly,” I said, wondering if it would be stable enough to hold our things.
“I think it looks just fine,” he retorted, a smile on his face.
Forever. It’s a really big word. Why am I so unafraid?
Photo Credit: clock