I’d finally gotten a couple of ten-dollar plastic sets of drawers so I could get rid of my smelly, broken old bureau I salvaged from Bulk Trash.
This bureau was the bane of my existence. It made all my clothes smell like mildew and only two of the five drawers still worked. But I kept it for years, because new furniture is expensive– and besides, it was the heaviest piece of furniture I owned. It sat in my front hall for several months before we found a way to inch it upstairs to my bedroom. I’m still not quite sure how we got it up here in the first place. But there it was: a Mid-century Modern bureau, particle board painted to look like mahogany wood, falling into sawdust at the corners, rooted immobile next to my bed.
One day, I couldn’t stand it anymore.
I stuffed my underwear and collection of eccentric scarves into the plastic drawers, where they just fit. I hung everything else in the closet, where it didn’t quite fit but left the door hanging open. When I ran out of hangers, I doubled up the outfits, three eccentric skirts per hanger.
The bureau stood empty for the first time in years.
I figured the easiest way to prepare the bureau for disposal was to break it up in pieces. I decided to get a head start on this, by throwing it down the stairs. It probably weighed more than 200 pounds. The sheer weight of it would shatter it to bits when it hit bottom. Then I could throw out particle board bit by bit, or maybe use the sturdier bits to paint icons on.I dragged the bureau out into the hall. It resisted me every step of the way, but I managed. The trick was to turn it just a little to the left and shove, then a little to the right and shove, and so on, ungainly as the ballroom dance lessons I took in my youth. I somehow got it around the hairpin turn. I dragged it down the first three stairs to the landing, narrowly missing the paper-thin quaint Victorian window pane. I thought I was going to be pushed out the window by the weight of the bureau bearing down on me, but I stayed the course. I turned it once more.
I tipped it up.
It was so heavy, I thought it was going to slip out of my fingers on its own.
I screamed “LOOK OUT BELOW!!!”
Michael said “What?”
I said “DON’T STAND AT THE BOTTOM OF THE STAIRS!”
He came into the hall. “What did you say?”
“DON’T STAND AT THE BOTTOM OF THE STAIRS!”
“You called me to the stairs to tell me not to stand at the bottom of the stairs?”
“GET OUT OF THE WAY!”
I could hold it no longer.
I let go.
It tumbled about six inches, and then it got caught on the low ceiling of the stairwell and lodged completely still.
Sometimes things don’t go the way you planned.
(image via Pixabay)