No Deal

Last weekend after writing my dreary post, I went straight away to True Value and bought an air conditioning unit. I had initially intended to just buy some stuff that would de-stick my bicycle lock, but the shop assistant was so nice that I also asked for help picking out an air conditioning unit. When I found out that they would lend me cart (I live less than a ten minute walk away from True Value) I decided to stop trying to find a deal and just buy the darned thing. “Can I install it by myself?” I asked. The shopkeeper looked at me slightly anxiously, “Er, it’s pretty heavy. It would be best if you had a friend help…”

Even with the cart, I was hot and sweaty by the time I had rolled it home in the awful humid heat and made it up the entryway staircase of my building. There was no time to call a friend. I wanted air conditioning, and I wanted it now. I skimmed the installation instructions, quickly determining I was too desperate to do it right. Who needs a screwdriver when you have willpower, anyway?

Still, I looked at the window doubtfully, mildly concerned that I would break the window frame somehow. I placed the piece of 2×4 I had also gotten from True Value on the brick outcropping to help support the unit’s weight. I got the unit as close the window as I could, and then I went for it, heaving the darned thing up and through the window with a prayer.

The unit was very heavy and tricky to maneuver, and I wasn’t sure exactly how it should sit in the window. As I panicked I tried starting to move it from behind, and I felt something sharp bite into my right hand. Of course it was only then that I remembered that the instructions I’d skimmed mentioning something about being careful of something…In a flash I positioned the unit so it wouldn’t come to harm, and withdrew my hand to see blood all over my fingers. The sharp wire grating in the back of the unit had gone through me like butter. My thumb in particular was gushing spectacularly. Fabulous!

I rushed to the kitchen to grab a towel and wrapped my thumb, putting pressure on it to ease the bleeding. I stood for awhile, looking at the air conditioning unit while holding my thumb. A small part of me thought I was an idiot, but now I was mostly consumed by annoyance. This was now a battle of wills, and the fight was personal. Me against the air conditioning unit. Only one of us could come out on top.

I approached the air conditioning unit again, my hand still wrapped in a towel. Somehow I pushed and maneuvered it into place, all the while smearing blood over the white surface. Then I careful closed the window. Close enough. I plugged it in, and turned it on.


I changed my clothes, rinsing out the blood on my romper in the kitchen sink, all the while listening to the calm hum of my beloved air conditioning unit. I went back and sat for awhile next to it, savoring victory and clutching my thumb. The cool air felt miraculous.

I was done trying to be cheap as possible. Later that day I also went online and bought a whole set of IKEA furniture with the psychological support of my mother. It arrives next week.


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