Saturday, January 8, 2011


This is fiction. But not really.

She's waiting for me. I hand her the bag and watch her face.

Heavy. That's all she says.

She unties the closure and dumps everything into an open box on her desk. The colored shards of glass stack awkwardly, slip-sidingly. They're mine, all of them. The formed ones. The irregular ones. The large polygons and the minuscule crescents.  The reds, especially, catch the light.

She looks at me as she tries to fasten the lid. She pretends to struggle. I'm sorry, she says with mock sympathy and a touch of ice. It's too full. 

Let me. My boldness surprises me. But I've heard rumor of a false bottom. So I produce a small hammer from one back pocket and a nail from the other. I remove those colored bits and tap a series of holes in the floor of the box. I put the shards back into my bag, and before I can think harder about it, I smash them all to smithereens.

I meet her eye. Her smile is impossible to read.

I pour the dusty glass back into the box. It fills to the brim and begins to mound too high again. But I tap the side of the box three times and the contents settle through the holes -- into the space she had hidden so well.

She reaches across time and her desk and closes the lid. It snaps neatly in place. I stow the whole thing in my bag and hold it close, like the prize it is.

You're not what I expected, I tell her as I turn to leave.

What, you thought I'd wear a sash and 2011 across my chest? A tiara, maybe? She smirks. I usually disappoint.

I smile sweetly. I can be snarky too. Not this year, honey.