Today is a day of action. I set the alarm for 6:30 am, a half hour earlier than I normally get up. I showered, dressed, made coffee, took the dog out, and woke Ms. K up kisses and gentle prodding. I even made her a cigarette to further entice her out of bed.
We had stuff to do.
By 8:30 am, we were in the car on the way to a self storage company located near the base of the Manhattan Bridge. By 9:15 am I had successfully rented a 3 x 5 foot storage unit for my extra furniture. By 10 am, I was at work and ready to take on the day. Later, when Ms. K called to say that my pansy little drill just wasn’t going to get through the concrete backed wall at home, she warned that our bookshelf hanging plans would have to wait yet another day until we could come up with another solution.
I thought of the teetering towers of books choking up the living room and I raised a fist to the air. Oh no, I would not be deterred.
By 1:30 pm, I was at a hardware store near my office that I knew rented tools because I would be good goddamned if I was going to have to buy a new drill. I selected one bad ass mutherfucker of a drill to rent, holding it’s weight in my hands, and imagining all those teetering towers of books neatly organized on our brand new IKEA bookshelves. I felt victorious, I felt . . . butch.
Suck it, bookshelves.
But first, paperwork. As the store clerk began to ask the pertinent questions and assemble the proper forms, the customer behind me in line for the register shuffled his feet impatiently. He even sighed a little for added effect.
Okay, buddy, you can go ahead of me.
The cashier rang up his purchases, which I noticed included weather stripping for an AC window unit. Mr. Impatient apparently doesn’t like drafts in addition to waiting in line.
“That’ll be two dollars and five pennies.”
Mr. Impatient handed over only two dollars. Perhaps the mention of “five pennies” had thrown him off.
“I just need five more cents,” the cashier politely prompted.
Mr. Impatient fished grumpily around his empty pockets before pulling out a bigger bill.
Dude, I thought, don’t break a bill because of five cents. And without saying anything, I reached into my pocket, pulled out a dime, and handed it to the cashier.
The universal order wobbled as Mr. Impatient grappled with the reality of my menial gift. He was incredulous, his body posture perhaps even a little defensive. “Are you sure?”
Am I sure? Buddy, I’m giving you a dime, not a kidney.
“New York is in a good mood today,” the cashier announced as he ran the transaction and bagged up his items.
I liked that comment. I liked being the representative for New York’s collective mood, which would also mean that New York is a little afraid of turning 30 in six days.
The man handed me back the 5 cents change. I stared at the nickel in the gloved palm of his hand, confused for a moment as to why he was giving me his change. “Here, this is yours,” he urged.
Mr. Impatient’s mood seemed greatly improved and he said an extra thank you as he exited the hardware store. All for five cents! What a bargain.
New York is in a good mood indeed. New York has a big, fuck off drill. If only for a day.