A wheelbarrow. Devoid of most color, except for some tinges of rusty orange and the memory of red. The wheel in front is haphazardly attached, and unbalanced from the years of use and strain.
"Carry this weight for me", we say. It comes out bittersweet, almost like an unspoken promise of maintenance in exchange for service. A promise we do not keep. We did not intend to do so.
We know the wheel is nearly at its limit, the handles splintering and crooked, and the paint chipped away and ruined.
We know after this weight is loaded onto the wheelbarrow it no longer concerns us.
Why replace the wheel? Why endeavor to update the coat of red? Why ever wrap and mend the handles? This tool fulfills its function just fine. It doesn't have to be pretty, only effective.
And once it no longer holds the weight, once the frame begins to crumble and warp, we will find a new one to take its place.
A brand new wheelbarrow, with a brand new red coat, and the stability of a fresh new wheel.
No repairs, no painting or polishing needed.