So I bought this spool of vintage cloth wire on ebay that i was really excited about. The cloth covering is black with silver stripes, is from the 60s, and reminds me of these friendship bracelets my friends and I used to wear in the late 80s (except not nearly as dorky).
Vintage Cloth Wire is a really popular item on ebay and it i’ve seen prices go up to $250 + for a 150ft reel. Well, I somehow was able to get my 100ft of wire for $18, so you can see why I was like totally stoked dude to receive this awesome wire and use it for my totallly radical lamps. I checked the tracking information every day for a week, watching my package eek its way from New Jersey to New Orleans via the United States Postal Service. Finally, the day came when i checked on the package from work and it said that it had been delivered! When I got home a few hours later, i hurried joyously to the mailbox (we have one of those neighborhood cluster boxes) but it was not there, and then to my front porch where most delivery men leave the packages behind a column; not there either. My fiance must have brought it in, i thought, as i ignored the growing sense of panic in my throat. But Leslie hadn’t been home at all that day, i knew, and the package was nowhere inside. I checked the computer again to make sure i had the right package. I did. I looked all over the porch and checked the mail box again. Nothing. I asked my neighbors on the left and right if they had seen the package and they hadn’t. It was then that the despair set it. Though a very beautiful place, New Orleans is full of awful and dishonorable people and there was no doubt in my mind that someone had nicked the package off my porch in the 2 hours that i sat there between the time it was delivered and the time I got home. I see so many people doing terrible and immoral things on a daily basis that i’ve grown pretty jaded as of late with humanity and the future of this city. All that aside, it is a terrible feeling to wait expectantly for a package to arrive only to realize that it will never come. Something one-of-a-kind and irreplaceable, gone because of some jerk with no morals.
I still had a tiny hope that it was all a mistake and my package was still on a truck out there somewhere, so i called the US Postal Service 800 number. After spending half an hour on the phone with the USPS computer voice, I finally tricked the system into letting me talk to a human and she said i would have to talk to the local post office and my area code supervisor. I talked to him later and he confirmed that the package had, in fact, been left on my front porch right in front of my door., according to the delivery man. “Why didn’t he hide it somewhere like everyone else does?” i asked him. He responded, “Why? Is it a bad area?” I didn’t know how to respond. The man was obviously from New Orleans judging by his accent, so how did he not know that this city is All bad neighborhoods, with only a few islands of good ones? Infuriatingly, he went on to tell me that this theft was pretty much my fault for not leaving a note on my door asking the delivery man to hide the package.
But I still would not give up. I figured that is someone stole my package they would be on foot, and would open the package in a block or two to see what treasure they had procured. After discovering that the contents were something that is of no value to anyone (except a lighting dork like me) they would have dropped the package on the ground or dumped it in the nearest trash can. So, the next morning, i took a walk around the ‘hood. I went four blocks in each direction, peaking in trash cans as I went, searching for my precious. I also looked on the porches of other abodes that had my same number address or even just close to my numbers. I saw the neighborhood post man and asked him about my package, and he said that he wasn’t on my route on the day it was delivered, and that it was another guy. He knew to hide the package, but the other guy didn’t have as much sense. He was understanding, but there was nothing he could do. Finally, I gave up the search. It was gone.
But wait! This blog post is not called the Prodigal spool of wire for nothing! This depressing story does have a happy ending, one that restores the lost faith in humanity and fixes all that is wrong with the world! Well, sort of anyway. The doorbell rang this afternoon, and it was my neighbor from three doors down with a package in her hand. Could it be? “The post man left this on my porch a few days ago,” she said, “and i’ve been waiting to see you to give it to you but I haven’t so here it is.”
Her address is nothing like mine, by the way, so the post man just got it way wrong. Still, my heart soared to have in my hands what I had given up for lost. I mentioned before the awfulness of loss, but there is also a truly amazing feeling that can only be experienced when that thing that you thought was gone forever comes back to you. I can only think of one other time in my life that I’ve felt such elation (long-lost cat coming home) and it was awesome – i did a stupid happy dance, ask leslie.
So, the moral of the story is this: The world is a bad place (mostly) and people do dumb things (often), and this leads us to expect the worst in people because the worst is usually what you get. But sometimes, every once in a while, it isn’t as bad as you think, and you get a little pleasant surprise that makes you do a little dance.
So, without further ado, here is my precious, the comeback wire, the monowatt surprise, the spool that wouldn’t quit, etcetera etcetera. Keep your eyes peeled for this magical wire in future lamps!