creative writing · fiction

Unbroken

Sometimes I would get so angry that I’d just want to break things. I’d want to scream and shout and smash things in a fit of raw, instinctive, and inexplicable destruction. Last summer I consigned one glass and two plates into shards of recycling and vacuum dust. Nobody noticed the glass, there were too many of them anyway, spread across multiple cupboards, collecting dust in a household that rarely had guests. A joke was made about the plates, something about my disdain for their squareness. It might have been true on some level, I had always maintained that plates should be circular.

Once, I was standing alone in the living room, just as the sun was setting and the sky had grown orange. I was suddenly so overcome with this anger that I grabbed my Father’s empty cognac bottle from the coffee table and hurled it at the concrete patio slabs. I had wanted it to smash into a thousand smithereens and scatter across the ground like little stars. I had wanted to hear that loud crashing sound that has the power to silence entire restaurants. Instead, I’d managed to throw with just the right trajectory so that its reenforced bottom caught the stone slab at the perfect angle and it bounced back up, whole, and disappeared behind a verdant rose bush. The unexpected outcome filled me with a strange mix of emotions. I was smug that the odds of that throw were low and yet the embers of the rage that consumed me had not been stamped out.

I stood and imagined someone finding the bottle again. Maybe my Father would see it in the winter when the foliage subsided and gaps emerged in the flower bed. Or perhaps a stranger would find it, years from now, when they were landscaping what used to be our garden. They would wonder how it got there, and maybe, if they were so inclined, they  would come up with some narrative: an alcoholic gardener, a summer bbq with rowdy guests, or teenagers. Teenagers often got the blame. I doubted that anyone would ever stumble on the correct sequence of events. That was the problem with archaeology, it was based on a snapshot, the time axis was missing. I supposed that was what was really wrong with me too. I could never factor time into a situation. But that evening, as the oranges and pinks transformed into purples and blues and the stars I’d tried to create emerged, one by one, before my very eyes, I finally recognised Tomorrow creeping across the sky.

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