The Seattle sky sparkled that day in its rarest, loveliest hue, a bottomless sapphire blue, a blue that, rather than serving as an unnoticed backdrop for earthly goings-on, grabbed center stage with its intensity. Having a bad day under such a sky seemed like a violation of some immutable law of physics, but a bad day I’d had, nonetheless, one setback after another marching through my life as a single working mom.
And thus, it had come to this. The bookcase-in-a-box, which I had purchased for my ten-year-old daughter Tasha’s bedroom not an hour before, lay in a sad little pile of pressboard rubble at my feet. The murder weapon, a huge rubber mallet, dangled thuggishly from my fingers as I stood straddling my victim, concentrating on slowing my breathing and the shaking of my hands.
Still dressed in my business suit after a difficult day at the office, I’d hurriedly taken the shelf kit out into the front yard to assemble the unfinished boards into proper formation, knowing that I would still need to find time to paint the shelf after assembly. Chips began to flake and fly off corners as I hastily tried to tap piece A into section B, tab C into part D. After the fourth or fifth chip, a large crack opened in one of the boards. Frustration overheated into full-blown rage, seething like lava down through my arms and into my hands. Once commenced, I couldn’t stop the destruction till nothing but chips remained.