I have found in my life that there are two kinds of places on this Earth. The first is the most glorious place where everything one could ever want is laid out before you and nothing whatsoever can limit your happiness. The second type consists of places that aren't the North Carolina Surplus Property Office. It is a modest stone building that looks rather boorish given the sizable junkyard adjacent to it. I pulled into its cheaply paved parking lot with dimly painted lines on one warm summer's day. I emerged, and with my associates, unknowingly walked toward the gates of heaven itself (Well, "large metal door" is perhaps a more accurate term than "gates of heaven", but for the purposes of over-dramatization, simply imagine a regal golden gateway with angels and harps...the whole nine yards). I looked around the room I suddenly found myself in; a calm place with some binders on a desk, a large couch, and round marble desk behind which and old woman was talking on the phone. A hand written paper sign read "Warehouse" with a large arrow pointing left down a far hall. My party and I continued our journey, following the hall to a set of large double doors made of what seemed to be steel. A gust of wind shot us in the collective face as the doors were opened, and when my vision returned, a veritable Garden of Eden spread out before my eyes. Instead of the greenest grass or the smell of sweet flowers in the spring, it was a concrete floor with the musty smell of dust permeating the place. But it was glorious nonetheless. I strolled to a wooden rack on which a stack of monitors had been placed. I gazed down upon a piece of masking tape hurriedly stuck upon one of them. In blue scrawl, I made out the words "Working monitor, $20". I blinked. Kneeling, I read another label. "Works, $25". Another read "Monitor, working, $30". I spun on my heels and exclaimed to where my party once stood behind me and began to exclaim "Great Scott! These monitors are only-." They were no longer there. A quick scan of this glorious place revealed they had spotted greater treasures than I had. Another wooden rack on which 15 computers, 5 printers, and 3 monitors were stacked and wrapped in plastic had a piece of paper dangling from it that read simply "$75". What manner of madness is this? We ran through the place in a fury, turning up insanity after insanity. "$10 for two industrial power generators!" "$30 for a medical overhead X-ray machine!" "$5 for this Epson printer! This printer retails for $250!" "This phone is $2! Wait, it's also an answering machine!" "This huge oak desk...its...its...$10!" "A padded high-back manager's chair for $5!" This continued for a full hour. My watch then beeped, beckoning me to return to my studies. It was clear that we had to go. But I shan't leave without getting proof of our visit. My party and I performed a rapid sweep of the place, and for $25 I purchased a monitor, keyboard, and phone. These items in hand, I thought to myself "The beast* will now be all the more powerful!" It truly was the greatest place on Earth, and I vow to return one day.
Journal - 1 September 2000: Nirvana
* See 28 August 2000.