Friday, September 10, 2021

Microstory 1710: Everything But the Chisel

My chisel is all that’s left. Ever since I moved into this house I’ve had a hard time remembering to close the garage. Everywhere I lived before, I would walk straight into the house, but this one is unattached. It’s right up against the house, mind you, and it’s even connected to the grid, but I have to walk outside to actually get into my home. It’s annoying, but I can deal. I just need to learn to make closing that door a habit by using the keypad, or maybe by buying an extra clicker to hang on the key hook. I guess it doesn’t matter much now. Everything is gone. Everything except my chisel. I don’t even have any use for a chisel. Just about everything I own I inherited from my family; in the case of the tools, my dad. He somewhat recently bought all new supplies, but the old ones were fine, and they were just sitting in his father’s father’s toolbox for years until it was time for me to move out. Now I’ve lost it all, except for the chisel. They took my car, naturally. I don’t know why I didn’t hear it start up, since the walls are so thin. They must have been professionals, who knew how to get in and out quickly and quietly. They didn’t want any chisels, though. Fortunately, the door to the inside of my house is always locked. I never forget to do that. In my old age, I can’t take off my shoes without holding onto something to steady myself, and the doorknob is pretty good for that. I suppose I could use a chair, but who has the time to remember that? Anyway, my hand’s already there, so before I grab all the way onto it, I turn the lock, and I’m safe. Or maybe they never wanted inside at all as there’s nothing of value in here, except for my life, and maybe not even that. My laptop is obsolete, my TV is a square. They would probably still want it anyway. After all, they took the trash can I keep in the garage for junk mail. They crave that 49 cents off a bag of carrots, but not a chisel, I guess.

I stand there staring at it, feeling like there must be some kind of message in this. If it were on the floor, I would assume they just dropped it on their way out. But it’s still up on this pegboard, right where I’m pretty sure I left. Well, I didn’t leave it there. My mom set this up for me secretly while I was at work one day. She likes to do things for me, because she knows how irresponsible I can be. Remember that I’m the one who never remembers to close his garage door. In all this time, I’ve probably only used a couple of these tools. The deck is old, so I have to smash down the screws and nails with a hammer so my dog doesn’t step on them. I would use the pocket knife to open packages. Those are really the only things here that I ever needed. I wonder if it’s possible to use the chisel for both of those tasks. I could hit the screws and nails with the handle, and stab into the boxes and bags. That would probably risk damaging the contents, but I believe I deserve it. Yeah, this must be a message, and it has nothing to do with online orders or hardware. The burglars are telling me that I’m not only a tool, but a useless one. Chisels are great when you’re the kind of person who uses chisels, but they’re not an everyday thing for most people. I’m not an everyday person. I’m only good under certain conditions, like when you want someone to steal all of your stuff without breaking a sweat, or if you need a mediocre file clerk who’s always making mistakes. This chisel represents me: alone, and not especially valuable. As I’m contemplating my sad life, one of the burglars returns and explains that he forgot something. He’s about to reach for the chisel, but I grab it first. And I stab him in the throat with it.

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