His mother drove him to the Hardware Store on a Tuesday. “I’m glad to see you’ve taken my advice for once” she said. “What do you mean.” “Applying to work at the Hardware Store. I’m proud of you Paul.”

“Oh right. Sure thing.” They pulled into the parking lot. “Just be a minute” he said as he opened the car door.

He walked under the door resplendent in its King William orange and white. He saw the towering rows of shelves like mountain ridges in Hell. He strolled among the fixtures, pipes, planks, sheets, plants (Why plants? he thought), switches. He realized he didn’t know the first thing about building furniture. “I don’t know the first thing” he muttered to himself “about building furniture. I know the last thing would be a couch or chair or stool but the first thing is a mystery.” He turned around and walked straight out of the store and to his mother’s car without looking up.

“How’d it go” she asked starting the car. “Great” he said.