The missing brick

Once, when I and my wife were traveling, I received a fax from my secretary.

‘When they delivered the material, there was one glass brick missing for the work on the kitchen renovation,’ she said.
‘I’m sending you the original plan as well as the plan the builder has come up with to compensate for it.’

On the one hand was the design my wife had made: harmonious lines of bricks with an opening for ventilation.
On the other hand was the plan drawn up to resolve the problem of the missing brick: a real jigsaw puzzle in which the glass squares were arranged in a higgledy-piggledy fashion that defied aesthetics.

‘Just buy another brick,’ wrote my wife. And so they did and thus stuck to the original design.

That afternoon, I thought for a long time about what had happened; how often, for the lack of one brick, we completely distort the original plan of our lives.