That’s a good day
Drafted on January 30, 2015:
I stopped by a professor’s office to return something to him, and in the middle of our conversation, I got completely distracted by what appeared to be a slinky trophy on his desk.
“…Is that a slinky?” I asked him.
The professor looked at me in shock. “Have we not….? Do we not know each other that well yet? Have we never talked about this?” He glanced significantly around his office.
I followed his gaze.
There were slinkies everywhere.
It was like they were materializing out of the wood-works as I looked around more closely.
We both started laughing.
“Okay, apparently I have blinders on when I come into your office!” I said. Which was true – I’d never noticed the extensive slinky collection permeating his office before.
“I really like slinkies,” the professor said, as if by way of explanation.
I wasn’t really sure how to respond. “I mean, who doesn’t?” I offered.
His face lit up – “RIGHT?! That’s exactly how I feel!”
So, then we were talking about slinkies and how he collects them, and has boxes and boxes of slinkies under his desk that he bought from eBay for $12.
And then he asked me if I wanted a slinky.
So he started pulling out bags and opening drawers and showing me various slinkies and asking which ones interested me.
He ended up giving me a dolphin-shaped slinky – the last of its kind, he said. It was in a battered box and had seen some better days, and he observed that it might be permanently kinked.
I so badly wanted to make a joke about a kinky slinky.
But I liked the dolphin slinky because it was the only one of its kind that he had left and it seemed special because he said you couldn’t get those kind anymore and he kept coming back to it, and I felt like it just needed some TLC from someone who would love it and accept it in its broken, imperfect state.
And I totally wasn’t attaching any sort of meta symbolism to it or anything.
“Every day that I acquire a new slinky – that’s a good day for me,” the professor said. “It doesn’t matter what else happens that day, it’s a good day.”
“I could really use a good day right now,” I said, “Thank you.”
And I’ll be darned if that little plastic dolphin slinky didn’t just make my whole day a tiny bit brighter.