Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Heart of Glass

Rehearsal was at my house tonight. A glass was broken. Second one this week.

The first one was my Big Mac glass, which I will be forced to replace on eBay. I accidentally knocked it into the sink when I was washing dishes. It's a shame; I got it for a quarter at a yard sale.

I used to have a set of eighteen matching pint, water, and juice glasses, and only those glasses. I didn't want a cluttered cabinet. Although my apartment was a mess, I made a point of storing them in a very particular way, up down up down. Most of them never got used because it was just me and my boyfriend using them, and he didn't live here. I didn't have friends over. I didn't have many friends. I went from work to home and back to work the next day, and sometimes I went shopping. I let all of my friends drift out of touch.

I was so angry when the first glass in that set broke. Now everything was unmatched. It wasn't even. It wasn't right. And indeed my life wasn't right. I was bored. I was unhappy. Eventually I changed. I made friends. I left my relationship. I found a new relationship. I changed everything.

I lost two of the water glasses when a spontaneous rager was declared at my house after a night at The Burren. A pint glass the night the I'm the Rhoda Advisory Council had a meeting at my house while my basement was cleared of past relationship detritus. Susie Cat has knocked a few off tables. I picked up a few novelty pop culture glasses while cruising yard sales with my boyfriend. He moved in and brought his specialty beer glasses. We didn't register for new glasses when we got married. I've embraced having a life where the drinking glasses don't match. If enough people are over that we can't find a matched set, it's a party, and party guests care more about what's in the glass than what it looks like.

I can't own too much in this small apartment, and I like to use the things that I have. I try not to save things for nice occasions, or own pretty things I don't use. I like to own things that have a story.

I have a set of heavy glass mixing bowls that I love. Glass is impractical, but they're the perfect mise-en-place set for my kitchen. My friend Carly gave them to me. She's the friend I met by placing a personal ad in a local paper, back before social media existed. I helped her pack when she moved from Boston to Phoenix, and saved the bowls from a trip to Goodwill. I think of her every time I use them. I dread the first time one breaks, but I know that when it happens I will e-mail her and she will say something that makes me laugh.

It's only a bowl. Or a cup. Or a glass. Things are used. Things break. Ancient pottery shards tell us how people lived, what and how much they ate, what they bought and sold, what was valuable and what was common. I live a life where glasses are broken during games of Mansions of Madness, or because someone didn't see someone's bag on the dark patio. It is evidence of a life lived.

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