Sometimes I think animism is hard-coded into our psyche.
My new kitchen–vain, arrogant, and self-superior–is nearly finished.
Today I hauled the tattered remnants of my old kitchen cabinets to the dump (the Shady Grove Solid Transfer Station).
I backed the pickup truck up to a large concrete well. At the bottom was a dumpster the size and depth of a boxcar. I began throwing in the scraps of solid wood framing, and doors of plywood and veneer.
I paused for a moment as I held a cabinet door, and considered keeping it as a memento of the kitchen I had for nearly ten years.
I felt disloyal tossing this wood into the mass grave. The clunky solid-wood square door handle, so familiar—yet being discarded and replaced with particleboard, melamine foil, and polypropylene. And why? To please the presumptive shallow tastes of an unknown home buyer; someone whom, at that moment, I knew I would dislike. Yet, for this person, nay for this person’s money, I would betray a reliable friend of ten years.
Before that sentimentality could take hold, I devised a way to use one of the larger panels to more quickly scoop the smaller pieces out of the pickup bed.
Functional to the end.
I also had a box to take to the electronic recycling area. Inside the box were more old friends: The shortwave radio that kept me connected to the larger world while I was in the Peace Corps. My first CD player, which, after Peace Corps, accompanied me on a 3-month-long motorcycle trip around America. That was when my one and only CD was Elvis Costello’s Brutal Youth.
The box also contained a broken cordless phone of no sentimental value. I decide to keep it to use as a prop in my “upgraded” kitchen. Take that, home shopping sucker.