The first power tool I ever bought was a little Black and Decker cordless screwdriver. I bought it my sophomore year of college to put together my bookshelf. My primary Christmas request that year had been for a large book case that “collapsed into a pile of boards” and my dad, with the help of a handful of screws, eight brackets and a power saw, had converted a one of the tall cases he had built for our living room in LA, six months before I was born, to do just that.
It isn’t a very powerful or impressive piece of machinery, as power tools go, but it has been my go-to item for the last six years. When my dad came to visit me in Philly a couple Memorial Day Weekends ago and found himself recruited to build shelves for my kitchen (needing extra storage space has been a prominent theme in my life) he was so taken by this efficient little screwdriver (with pivoting head) that he asked for one for father’s day.
About a year ago, I misplaced the battery charger for my screwdriver. I’ve wanted to use it on multiple occasions recently, and was always thwarted by that fact that it just didn’t have anymore power. For the last two months the screwdriver has sat on the shelf, next to the place where I throw my bag when I come home, waiting for me to take some sort of action in order to make it function again. At one point this summer, I carefully went through my apartment, simply looking for the charger. I even did some internet research to find out if it was possible to order another one. I could see it clearly in my mind, but I wasn’t able to uncover it.
Standing in front of the stereo in my living room, I glanced up at a brass dish that had belonged to my grandparents, sitting on top of a stack of cds. It collects change, chapstick, nail files, pens and other life-debris. Tonight, it also held the charger. I don’t really understand how it was possible for me to sift through every box, drawer, cabinet and bin in the apartment over the summer and not see it there. Was it there the whole time? I pride myself on being observant, paying attention and noticing details, and yet this stupid charger has been sitting in plain view in my living room for months, while I have been looking for it, and I never saw it. I am working hard not to read too much significance into this turn of events.
I’m just glad it has returned.