When I glimpsed her through the window, I first thought she was a dumpster diver. She looked into the dumpster with a quizzical look on her face. Her right arm poked into the container, unable to reach whatever she saw there. She moved to the opposite side and used the disposal lift weld-on to boost herself shakily up. Her upper body leaned into the container. For a second, I was confident she’d tumble inside. I’ve seen it happen before.
She emerged upright, her right hand holding a strange lamp. It had no lampshade, and I could see that the black cord was cut and frayed. She looked down and wondered how she would hop down from her perch. She grabbed the frayed cord and let the lamp gently go inside the dumpster. She held the edge of the cold dumpster and stepped down, her grip firmly on the cord. She then pulled the lamp out of the container and held it, looking at it.
She turned it in her hands, scrutinizing the metal birds that adorned the column of the lamp. I think she was considering tossing it back inside.
I walked out on the landing, for some inexplicable reason hoping she’d keep the lamp.
She walked back toward the apartment building.
“Hey,” I hollered.
She looked up at me as I gestured to her.
She turned to walk toward me and walked over to the bottom of the stairs.
“That’s a nice lamp!”
“I thought so too. The birds are interesting,” she said, turning it and holding it up for me to see.
“If you’d like, I will re-wire it and paint it any color you’d like. It won’t cost much. Just a little bit of time.”
She smiled, surprised.
“That’s kind of you to offer. Hmmm. Blue. I’d like it to be blue.”
“Blue it is in, then,” I told her. “I can get a wiring set for a few dollars and fix it to look brand new. But, if you’re interested, I can do one better. I can show you how easy it is if you want me to. That way, you can make all the lamps you want to.”
“Oh! Really? That would be awesome!” I could see her imagining that she could do it.
“I’ll get the paint and the wiring assembly. Let me know when you want to give new life to your lamp.”
She smiled. “Deal. Thank you.”
Sometime soon, I will give someone the gift of making her found lamp come to life.
Treasure is where you find it.