Saturday, October 9, 2010

Once Upon A Time

There was a cup and a saucer, and though they were different colors and mismatched, somehow, they ended up as a set. They traveled together, from house to house, garage sale to flea market, for many years. Each hand they passed through had a pair of lips that would smile fondly at the odd coupling of the cup and saucer. Each hand also eventually dropped one or the other, made an attempt to mend it, and then inevitably passed the set on. The paint was chipped, the prints were faded, and time wore down their differences in appearance, so that they seemed to match more and more.

One day, the hands who then held the set realized that the many cracks and the uneven and imperfect fixes had made the cup and the saucer unsuitable for one another; they no longer fit together, however auspiciously they had managed to make it work in the past. There were only two options, as getting rid of them completely just seemed unnecessary and wasteful: separate the two and use them as individually flawed pieces, or break them both completely and re-make each. There was no guarantee that putting the broken pieces back together would enable the cup and the saucer to fit together again, but it was their only chance.

So they waited. There was no patience or impatience involved in the waiting, as they were simply a cup and a saucer. They sat in the corner of a cupboard, with every intention of somehow being fixed and being useful again, whether together or separately, while time covered them with a thick layer of dust.

By the time they were discovered, it was a new hand that saw no value in an old, broken, and mismatched set of a cup and saucer. And so the story ends, with them being shattered beyond repair in the bag of rubbish on the curb, where they now wait to meet an incinerator, to be reborn as ash and mixed so completely together that there can be no distinguishing between the pieces, no need for matching or fitting. A cup and a saucer no more.

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