THE NINE LIVES OF THE INANIMATE

I should have kept my Tupperware glasses, even though they were dishwasher-warped and the kids had chewed up the rims—turning the rims into a sort of dental floss.

* * * 

By Lad Moore

Last July I broke a water glass on the kitchen floor. It was one of my favorites because it only held six ounces—I am not into the eighty-ounces-a-day horror. It was also the kind of glass that explodes and scatters on impact, like summer rain on the freshly waxed hood of a car. Pieces scampered to the safety of the braided rug, and raced for the darkness under the dishwasher vent-thing. More agile fragments mounted dust-bunnies and rode them out of the room. 

I swept the kitchen, applying the principle of the grid-pattern that was developed for archeological digs. Then I wet-mopped—making sure the infected sponge head was hermetically bagged and tossed. Lastly, I vacuumed the entire floor with the latest superhuman Oreck technology—you know, the $1000 vacuum cleaner that can suck Orville Redenbacher through a garden hose.

But woe, on Sunday I located that last lone sniper of a sliver with the naked heel of my foot. I was always afraid it might be somewhere out there, despite the fact that the statute of orphaned glass shards had comfortably passed.  And darn it, I had felt safe. After all, my dog Quigley had done reconnaissance for me when he padded over to his food bowl dozens of times without mishap.

I could feel the glass when I caressed the spot with a loving finger, but I couldn’t see or grasp it. Surgery was clearly indicated. Doctors lie when they say that pieces of glass will work themselves out. They only work themselves near. 

I probed the spot with a needle until my self-inflicted wounds dwarfed the original injury. Multiple epithets ended the operation without confirming if success had been achieved. 

It is now February. The spot of my summer surgery has hardened into a kernel that is resistant to even the most aggressive of emery boards. And it is always first in line to complain that my newest shoes should have been a half-size larger.

* * *

The author’s three collections of short stories, Tailwind, Odie Dodie, and Riders of the Seven Hills are available at all traditional booksellers. Copies signed by the author may be obtained by contacting him directly via  pogo@shreve.net or   at his web page at:  http://laddiemoore.blogspot.com/

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The story featured here holds © Copyright 2010 by the author, Lad Moore. All rights reserved.

Image © by Dreamstime under compensated license.

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