The thing about this literary path, however, is that some days I am way more productive on it than others. Today was a perfect example.
I tried to write when I woke up, but I just couldn't get my mind into gear; it was as if my thoughts were routing through a molasses tunnel. So instead I grab the few bills I still pay by check and head to the post office a few blocks away.
As I pull up to the curb across from the row of mailboxes, I spot a dark green, beat-up, dirty wood barstool sitting next to some garbage cans. It is clunky and odd and all by itself. I fall instantly in love.
But because it's technically still on someone's property and not on the curb with the garbage cans, I don't know if I'm allowed to take it. So after mailing my letters, I get back in my car and head home. Except I can't get the chair out of my head, so I drive right past my house and back to the post office.
Thankfully when I arrive the barstool is still there in all its late 1970s, forest green, naugahyde glory. I contemplate ringing the doorbell to the house where it sits to ask if it's for the taking, but I chicken out. Just as I am about to get in my car defeated once again, I see another middle-age woman spot the chair and start a U-turn in its direction.
I never wanted something more than at that moment. I quickly march over to the stool and put my hands around it like a protective lover. My rival slows down enough so she can give me that "till we meet again" stare. Given that if we ever do meet again it will probably be at Trader Joe's, I'm not all that intimidated.
I stand there still unsure of the legality of bringing the chair home. I need someone to help validate my decision. I spot a gardener across the street.
"Habla Ingles?" I ask.
"A little," he replies.
"Okay, you see that chair over there. Do you think that's basura?"
I could tell he's impressed with my vast knowledge of his language.
"That?" he laughs. "Yes."
He starts to put his blower down in an attempt to help me.
"I got it, thanks," I say, as I awkardly shove the thing into the cramped backseat of my Prius.
He gives me a work-gloved thumbs-up as I pull away.
"Gracias," I say but the sound of his blower drowns me out.
A few minutes later, I lug the chair through my front door past the living room and into my office. It doesn't matter that it's a foot too high or dusty or worn down. It turns out to be the perfect thing needed to help me get back on my path.