The tale begins last December when I moved. In the fall I'd expressed that if I could add any two things to my flat it would be an oven and a balcony, then in December my old flat was sold and I moved down the block into my new one. It doesn't have an oven. It doesn't have a balcony either. What it does have is a railed-off bit of roof you can access by climbing out my window, which is basically a balcony anyway. I thought it would be the perfect place to eat breakfast every morning, I just needed a place to sit. And here begins The Footstool's Tale.
I found the footstool at Home Plus early one Saturday morning. It's plastic, orange seat was a square resting on four aluminum legs and it was cheap, so I bought it. I took it home and ate breakfast out on my almost-a-balcony. It was perfect. It was also the last time I ate breakfast outside. I guess I'm just too hurried or lazy to climb up into my window seat and out a window, hauling my breakfast and my stool behind me so that I can sit and stare at the opposite building for a few minutes before work every morning. So the footstool stayed inside.
It's life in my flat was not idle. The footstool made the rounds, changing functions just about every time I got bored and moved my furniture. It served as a shelf for a houseplant, and then for my earring rack. It was my computer desk when I went through my 'sitting on the floor' phase, and then my computer chair when I stopped sitting on the floor and regretted my decision to get rid of my old computer chair.
For a while I kept it up in my loft as a night stand beside my mattress. When I decided to move it back downstairs I lost my grip on it and dropped it down the stairs. One of the plastic corners broke off.
Not long after that two of the legs bent inward. I tried to bend them back out again, but it was clear that the integrity of Home Pus's cheapest stool had been compromised beyond further reliability.
This is the part of the tale in which I turn my eyes downward in shame to make a confession. Throwing away my old computer chair had been a huge hassle in which I argued with and then paid off a pair of old security guards with whom I didn't share a common language. When I knew it was time to say goodbye to my footstool, I took the coward's way out. I made sure no-one was looking and left it in the stairwell.
Here comes the redemptive ending. A week later I stepped off of the elevator into the first floor entryway to find that my chipped and mangled footstool had found a new home across from the security guard's booth. I was surprised to see it there initially, and increasingly more and more surprised as it continued to be there.
It's been over two months now and the little orange footstool is still magnifying its calling in its new little corner. Sometimes it has packages waiting on it, sometimes notices in Korean. For a while it was home to a pot of yellow flowers, and one day a little girl was sitting on my stool while her mother conversed with one of the guards.
I gave up on orange footstool and abandoned it in a dark corner, but little footstool was too good for the shadows. Somehow it managed to find its way to a much better work than I ever gave it while it lived with me.
It just goes to show that a few thousand won spent at Home Plus may go much further than you'd ever expect.