Tips on how to walk tall from a tapir in a donated clothing bin.
Late in March of this year my girlfriend broke up with me. Don't worry, this isn't a sad story. This isn't a story of me moaning about what could have been. This isn't a story of how I messed up some mystic chance given to me. This is a story about how I met George.
I woke up on a Saturday in June to a brilliant beam of sunlight on my face. It didn't annoy me, it felt good. I soaked up the sunlight as I imagined plants do. I was having a pleasant dream and the sunbeam helped me remember it somehow. In my dream I was helping sailors board a ship by building a bridge out of graham crackers. The bridge spanned the gap from the dock to the ship and all the sailors were amazed at my skill and all of them thanked me as they crossed my bridge. The sunshine on my face warmed the dream into a golden trophy that I placed on my display shelf of my subconscious. I sat up and 10:13 on that Saturday morning, I realized that I was finally over the breakup. I felt good and I was ready to move on with my life.
At 11:32 I realized that I lied to myself. After a cup of coffee and a shower I went to pick out what outfit in which I was going to conquer the world. I opened my wardrobe to a gray Tom Tailor t-shirt. It was a great shirt and it looked good on me. Kerstin bought it for me, though, and just seeing that shirt crumbled the foundations of self assurance that I had thought to be so stable. I sat down on my bed and looked at the t-shirt. Tears actually formed in my eyes. I began entertaining the thought that the clothes she bought for me was her way of transforming me into something she wanted. Apparently I was too much work to transform.
The tear that had been forming fell from my eye and landed in my lap. I stood back up and pulled the t-shirt from the hanger. I held it close to my chest and stayed that way for longer than I care to admit. I sniffed and threw the shirt on the bed. I immediately went through the rest of my clothing, taking anything - no matter how hideous - and throwing it on the bed. When I was certain I had everything she had given to me in one pile, I grabbed a large canvas bag and filled it with the pile of clothes she had bought for me.
Let me stop right there for a second. I know I said that this isn't a sad story and I know how it really sounds like one. Bear with me. It sounds kind of whiny now but really is only to set the stage.
This stage, by the way, is in Germany. The Germans may do a lot of silly things, such as wear socks with sandals and eat tuna fish on pizza, but one thing they get right is recycling. Recycling may be stretching the definition a bit when it comes to clothing, but here in Germany there are bins in which one can donate old clothing right alone side containers for old glass and sometimes even old electronics. These bins and containers are located on almost every major intersection throughout German cities. As you may have guessed, I was headed to the nearest bin to toss the bag clothes I just gathered.
I allowed myself a smile here. Everything that I was about to toss was in great condition. I gained pleasure in thinking that I would make someone's day a bit brighter.