Impermanent Fixtures

I haven’t bought any furniture since I first moved to Toronto because I didn’t expect to stay here for long. I’ve been here 4 years now. I will be relocating to the US soon so I’m still not investing in upgrading my apartment which I rent anyway. Besides I don’t misuse my belongings. However, although my centre-table is solid wood it is a little old. Its legs have been rickety for a while and I was afraid it would fall apart the next time I’d move it

I was rearranging my living room furniture today. (I have different room plans for the winter and the summer.) I was moving that table when I felt its legs wobble and I stopped. I’m going to fix this, I decided. I felt underneath it, near the top of one of its legs and knew exactly what I needed to tighten them. I went to this giant “bucket” I have that’s filled with tools. It has screwdrivers in all shapes and sizes, a drill machine, drill bits, nails, screws, and other odds and ends. It’s one of the remnants of a long relationship.

We were together for 4 years. He was almost 4 years younger than me. I knew it was a mistake from the start. It’s somewhat unlikely that a 19-year old boy, especially one with a reputation of being a ladies’ man, would be ready to commit to a serious relationship. However, this one insisted he was ready, swept me off my feet, and I gave in. The time we spent together was not pleasant. Suffice it to say his views were extremely patriarchal and I didn’t know how to deal with that. Our relationship went from bad to worse and at certain points I was sure he was cheating on me. He also had a violent nature and I don’t even know how we got through all those years together! But, to this day, we remain close. I understand him like no one else does and if I ever share a part of my life with him (so long as it doesn’t have to do with other men) he knows exactly what to say to me. It was through him that I met my best friend. Her boyfriend and mine were close friends (…and he had a crush on her). And it was during those years that I learned how to handle a drill machine, hammer nails into a wall, how to hang a mirror on dry-wall, and other such useful things.

My tool-bucket had exactly what I needed. As I tightened the legs of the table that he and I had purchased together, I couldn’t help but smile. “Mommy’s awesome!” I said to a puzzled Dolce. I moved the table without worry. He and I may not have made each other happy most of the time but I’m grateful to him for so much, and if I’m awesome, I owe part of it to him.