The escritoire

Twice a week he would pass by the escritoire, and twice a week he would deliberate taking it home. It had almost all that could be wished for in one; a polished mahogany frame, perfectly-curved legs, five drawers, two on each side and one leading to its heart, and a thread of beautiful wooden weave running along its contours. Could one see for oneself the escritoire, one would surely wonder why the man would ever refuse it.

So it was that the man passed it by as the weeks passed him by. But each time, no matter how desperate a haste he was in, he would always stop to admire it – it never ceased to enchant him. Even as it stood shyly behind the display window, there was a certain familiarity about it, an intimacy whose origins the man could not locate; like a thin film of memory that superimposes itself on the present and that quickly vanishes in the instant one tries to recall it. There were days where he felt his resolve clambering its way up towards the immutable peak, only to be pushed back down by some cowardly excuse. Oh, I have to rush off to some place or oh, I have some work that needs urgently to be done and shall return tomorrow. Whatever the case was, he never intended to heed those feelings. He never dared. He thought to himself: what if this were all merely the theatrics of emotion, and there in fact lies ahead a far more suitable escritoire to which I shall feel an even greater sense of intimacy?

A winter passed, and then a spring. And one day when the man was on his way home, expecting to deliberate once again his eternal dilemma, he saw an empty space where once the escritoire stood. His heart fell immediately. He rushed into the shop and in a jittery voice asked the shopkeeper what had happened to the escritoire. By then, it was all too late.

Who could be blamed but himself? For did he not procrastinate at every opportunity, and what is more despicable, sometimes refused it in the hope that he would eventually find a better one. There is no greater fool than one who is willing to partake in only the best.

Twice a week, he would pass by an empty space, and he would be left with nothing to deliberate, nothing to admire, nothing to hold dear in his mind, nothing to accompany his thoughts as they traversed every plane of life.


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