What I Shed Today

lightening up a little at a time

trashcans, part two

on November 20, 2014

Since there were two trashcans, I can take two days to shed them, right?

I published a craigslist ad offering them together for $5, which I thought would make them a fairly trivial purchase. By evening I had an inquiry about their volumes. Guessing that my correspondent was a graduate student in the sciences, I smiled, estimated as best I could, and replied. Then she asked if the pedal lifted the lid; I answered that it did. She responded that she was interested, but needed to ask her roommate if she were willing to split the cost.

One half of five dollars was a significant amount in her budget? I felt that in the gut. I remember getting through grad student poverty, but don’t usually relive the emotions that went with it (fear, mostly, and irritability, regularly lifted by interludes of wonder and gratitude at the generosity of the universe). I wrote that I’d be glad to give them to her. (I didn’t add: because others have given so much to me. It’s obvious, isn’t it, to anyone with eyes with which to see and ears with which to hear?)

She gushed thanks and added that she and her roommate had been using a clock to hold down the lid of their current wastebasket. When she came to pick them up, I had to ask about the clock. The lid popped up by itself, she explained, so they weighed it down with a broken clock. She was looking forward to not having to do that anymore.

I wish I had a photo of her smile as she stood on our front walk with a wastebasket under each arm. I’ll keep the image in memory for awhile. And in my mind’s eye, I see her and her roommate gleefully shedding that dead clock.

shedding style: give away
destination: grad student kitchen

Comments welcome … do you have a story about how in giving we receive, and receiving, we give?


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