I attempted to shred something yesterday, but my shredder’s buttons wouldn’t light up. This was the umpteenth time it hadn’t worked. I assumed it had died.
I called the store where I had bought it to find out whether it still carried this particular model and the man said only online. I called another store and it, too, only carried shredders online. I called other stores and found I could bring my old shredder to a place in the neighborhood for free e-waste recycling.
I gave my shredder a deep look and said, “Thank you for everything, especially for all the confetti on New Year’s Eve.” We shared a moment of silence.
I started walking. My shredder turned out to be heavier than I expected. Five years ago, when I purchased it, I had carried it in its box from the store to the bus stop across the street, on the bus, and from the bus stop to my house. I didn’t remember it being heavy, only bulky in a box. When I picked it up, I figured I’d have an easier time, since it wasn’t in a box. I was wrong. It was heavy.
Because of the unexpected weight and temperature in the seventies, I grew overheated in my thick maroon fleece. When I reached the corner, I put down the shredder, took off my fleece, put it in my knapsack, picked up the shredder, and continued. After I picked it up, I realized I was holding it differently. I noticed this because my fingers found a switch at the back, which was more like the top the way I was holding it. Without thinking about it, my fingers moved the switch back and forth, back and forth, until a switch went off in my brain. I thought, hmm.. I wonder if this is the on/off switch.
By this time I was more than half way to the store, so I decided to keep going. When I arrived, I asked the receptionist whether there was an outlet I could use. She pointed one out. I plugged in my shredder, pressed the On button and voila! it worked again.
On the return trip, it seemed much lighter. Once home, I plugged it in. The motor was loud and strong. I offered it some paper as a snack. It gobbled it up like it was starving.