Tuesday, March 28, 2023


These Things Happen After All

My grandmother's family-famous porcelain chafing dish stood on its side for many years in a bracket on a mahogany cabinet in my dining room.  That is a room that we rarely use; it sees very little foot traffic except on holidays and briefly when the cleaning lady comes every other week.

But my daughter was staying with us in one of her transitions, and her closest friend stopped by to visit, dragging along her nine-year-old son, who is always called "Austin C." after the drug dealer who begat him, now long gone.  Triggered by my withdrawal from his hands of a fake but nevertheless dangerous ornamental sword that was leaning in a corner of the family room, Austin C. went off on a bit of a rampage, at maximum speed, throughout the first floor.  In the dining room his elbow clipped Nana's dish and its bracket, with predictable consequences.

On the sentimentality front, the dish was not brought from Ireland by Nana when she came, as family legend had had it.  We found out that it was a gift to her from a neighbor who ran a small antique shop in Queens.  But its provenance was Irish, in specific from the high-volume fires of the Belleek Factory in the North.

My first reaction to the crash was anger, at both the boy and his careless mother.

My second reaction was resignation; it was not something that could be undone.

My third reaction was gratitude directed at the boy, for accelerating entropy.  Things are meant to be broken.  Everything will be broken in due course.

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