Friday, April 27, 2012


The day started with shattered glass.

Not a broken window. Not a car wreck outside where a windshield popped.

Nothing so dramatic as that.

No, it was a dropped juice glass, a rather sturdy one that, along with its few remaining siblings, had been dropped dozens of time over the last decade without any consequences.

Today, it slipped from my hand, hit the edge of the cereal bowl, chipping it as it struck, and then threw itself into a thousand pieces out of remorse.

We say "don't cry over spilt milk." We throw a pinch of salt over the left shoulder when we spill salt. But I am not aware of any similar household incantations for a shattered juice glass. The nearest I can approximate is the breaking of glass (usually a lightbulb) at the end of a Jewish wedding, but no one shouted "Mazel Tov!" when this glass broke.

I had not yet served up the oatmeal in the aforementioned cereal bowl, so I did not have to toss breakfast and start over. I instead picked up the largest shards, set them aside, and then set about wiping down the counters. I keep paper towels for the sole purpose of greasing baking dishes, and used up several of them in cleaning up the fractured pieces.

As I wiped, marveling at the pattern of the breakage, Horace Rumpole came to mind. Back in the old days, back in the television days of my life (so you know we are talking wayyyy back), I would watch "Rumpole of the Bailey" faithfully on PBS. No matter what the case before him, Rumpole always found a way to refer to the Penge Bungalow murders, his first unled case, and to his brilliant analysis of the bloodstains that formed the basis of his successful defense. As I studied the scattershot, I thought that even Horace Rumpole would have been hard pressed to make sense of this.

Finally, the last sweep of damp paper towel came up without a cold sparkle. I tossed the glass pieces out, Leo McKern's voice faded from my ears, and I poured another glass of juice.

In movies, especially the lavish ones of days gone by, you sometimes see an actor smash a wine glass in the fireplace, either with a hearty toast or a bitter curse. I can't imagine Warren smashing any glass in the fireplace under any circumstances. I can't see myself picking pieces of glass out of the fireplace the next morning. So I guess it is for the better that my life's circumstances are such that it is only a juice glass on a kitchen counter.



Deborah (Debs) Carr said...

My day began with my washing machine flooding the utility room! Thankfully the weekend has almost arrived.

see you there! said...

You see and write so much from ordinary things. It is amazing.