Ok, I have to admit that buying the wood for my box felt a little weird.
A friend of mine told me that he wanted to be there when the person in the lumber store asked me what the wood was for, mostly to see the expression on his/her face when I said, “my coffin.” Luckily, my friend didn’t come with me and the man at the store never asked about the project. However, it still had an odd feeling to it as I was standing there wondering what I would say if I was asked and wondering why I was feeling nervous about it. It’s just wood, right? Nonetheless, there I was anticipating the question and deciding if I should tell the truth or lie about it…and why? To protect him, me, or both of us from a potentially awkward situation? Maybe because the act of constructing one’s own box is so unusual in this culture, I anticipate a social stigma connected with questions about my sanity. After all, I was in a public place, discussing something that was more or less a private project.
All this aside, I did get some nice wood and was able to talk to this very knowledgeable salesman (a carpenter for 20 some years) about the best way of joining the pieces. Even though he never asked what I was doing, he was very warm and helpful. I could see his interest in wanting to help me construct it with the least problem and the most probability of success (what ever it was I was making!). Here’s what I bought (you can click on the photos if you want to see them in more detail):