Bathroom Breaks

I think I’ve said it somewhere else. My husband is a klutz. I don’t know how he does it but he can break things I never knew I had. In terms of sheer volume I think he has done the most damage in the kitchen. It stands to reason. Ceramic, glass, china all live and die in this area. But, it’s the bathroom where he has broken my past.

I used to have a jewelry box made out of china. Shaped like a fish coming out of water it held earrings and other small trinkets. With the fish, white and tinged with pink and pale orange, as the lid, a small dorsal fin was the handle with which it could be lifted. Wispy white, blue and green waves of the ocean were the base, the actual box. It was made in the late 40s, an antique. When Kisa broke it I didn’t know how to be mad. It had been a gift from a clever exboyfriend with an eye for the unique. With him out of the picture and Kisa in it, it was only fair that the box should break. It was only fair that I should be glad there was one less reminder of Him. Yet, I had loved this fish box in the material sense and mourned its loss just the same.

I had another jewelry box from another ex. This one a dark blue, round, felt-lined music box with a celestial theme. Stars and moons circled in pale yellow and gold. It played the show tune “Memory” from the Broadway musical, Cats. Yes, Kisa crashed into this one, too.

I don’t know how to feel about this latest breakage. In a twisted way I have always connected this music box to my father. It’s a link that doesn’t quite make sense even to me. Twenty years ago on the evening after my father’s lethal stroke I was sitting in a darkened theater enjoying my first Broadway production. I had just dined at the famed Russian Tea Room and was now enthralled by the actors crawling and purring around the dimly lit theater. I was in the dark about my father’s condition so this is what I was doing while my father lay dying in a hospital room four states away. A short time later, when I was presented with the music box as a memento of my New York excursion, I could barely accept it. Now, twenty years later I had it still. It had become one of my dearest possessions. Until yesterday. shattered.

The pieces of the broken box will go in my rock garden joining the other shards of a past life and Kisa’s clumsiness. The lid, the musical part of the box, is unscathed. It still plays “Memory” exactly as it had twenty years ago. I’m keeping the lid. A memory is a memory is a memory even though Kisa killed the material.

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