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Broken Plate

Posted in Adventures With Humans

While house sitting, I broke a plate. I notified the house owners this way:

I have broken a plate. Pick one:


She finished her dinner standing in the kitchen. The sun had set. It was a cold, gun-metal grey day that she was glad was done. She was not partial to any particular part of it. She set the plate down, olive oil shining on it; the only addition to the knot of spaghetti she had made for herself. She began cleaning up. The plate broke. The day ended. No fish.

F. Scott Fitzgerald:

She finished her dinner, oddly, by herself, standing in the kitchen, one hip shot against the island. She toyed with the loops of pasta knotted on her plate. She heard the wind howl up and pass outside, like nails against nylon. The sun, almost timid in this cold, hardly rose, at least not like the julep-prone summer. Those days when the summer breezes lifted the sheers like angels in song and flight! She finished her meal and began fiddling with cleaning something. She wasn’t sure how that worked. She was never comfortable in a kitchen, but here she was. She twisted one of the water taps on and then, as she watched the water pooling in the sink, she reached back to grab her dinner plate. There was the slightest tap and then the plate fell in pieces. It fell. In pieces. She turned and looked at it. The sink filled. 

Cormac McCarthy:

In this world everything breaks. It is only time that marks the history of the event. A heart broken is the only breakable that can be hidden and yet it is the most painful. Everything else leaves a mark, a clue: Cattle through a fence, a busted femur from the fall off of a green broke horse or the bullet hole from a rusted 22 fired at the last moment in a drunken bar brawl. It was nice to have peace for a change. It was nice to be able to stand and eat without smoke from a campfire burning her eyes whenever the wind felt compelled. She stood and ate watching the birds through the glass window puffed up to twice their size in this cold. She stopped, took her guns off and set them on the counter in the laundry room away from her then walked back and finished her dinner. She chuckled and pulled a barb of black locust from her hair.

“Magine havin’ a room jus for laundry,” she thought out loud. 

The sun eased down off of the day and the light with it. She finished her meal and set to washing up. There was no sand around to get the food off of her plate but there was a sink and a spigot. She fiddled with the toggle until water came not without protest. She watched it then pushed her hat back on her head. How this water came she had no idea. She turned and without thinking grabbed her plate. There and then in the space of a shot it broke. It sat there on the wooden island in pieces. The edges were raw and showed white like bone or teeth. She spit.

“Damn it. Ain’t a girl got no ability beyond what she’s had to put up with? Cain’t I be careful at all?”

She threw her hat off of her head. 

“Do I gotta break everthin’ I likes?”