I've wanted this table for god knows how long — at least twenty years. And about this same time last year, I had the notion to tell my neighbor Roy to look for one for me. Roy is, among many things, a hauler. ("No job too odd.") You pay, he takes. A lot goes to the dump; the remaining treasures he sells at one of his summer garage sales. So much of what I own came via Roy, and some of what I no longer own departed in his pickup. I'm luckier for it — all of it, both the coming and going.
But I neglected to tell Roy I wanted this table: solid wood, sturdy, able to withstand some abuse, as I own not a stick of furniture that is precious. It needed to be big enough to take a stack of books, a bouquet of flowers, a teapot —
Just last week I was cursing (again) the rickety, ugly "thing" that stood between my sofa and love seat and ended up a dumping ground for mail, wine glasses, old New Yorkers. I entertained a fantasy of burning it out back in the fire pit.
Saturday, I saw Roy's YARD SALE sign at the end of the street, and walked the half-block to his house. As I turned the corner, I saw it: pine, 30x60", a bit banged up, with two small drawers.
"How much for the table?"
"Thirty-five, but for you T., I'll take twenty."
I took a steel wool pad and some dishwashing liquid to it and scraped off a layer of gunk to reveal an honest, solid table top. All it needs now it a light oil rubdown and I'm in business.
What should I ask for next?