I angled my left hand slightly the wrong way, evidently, while setting down my cell phone; instantly there was an explosion of pain in my wrist. It’s happening every couple of weeks this summer. I got an ice pack and pillow case and settled grumpily into an armchair in our bedroom. I hate my wrist, I told Dave.
“I hate my shoulder,” my husband replied from his position in the armchair’s twin, and returned his gaze to Jack Nicholson, but it was too late: A Few Good Men had gone to commercial. Dave’s shoulder started bothering him a few months ago and worsened; he’s doing physical therapy for it now.
Our bodies—the joints, especially—have become our frenemies. Coming to the party and then picking a fight. I guess it’s understandable. As a musician who also types a lot, my wrists have a right to protest. But I don’t have to like it.
The commercials played on. I scrolled down my Facebook feed. Then Dave escalated: “I hate my knee.”
Fortunately, I had a comeback. I hate glass.
“No you don’t, you love glass.”
The commercial break ended before I could defend my position. Tom Cruise and Demi Moore and other assorted characters in the movie ate pizza and argued. About what, I wasn’t certain—I’ve never watched this movie as a whole, just bits and pieces. Dave sipped his wine. The ice pack had dulled the edge of the pain and I was reluctant to move out of my seat, even to give Dave a closeup of the Band-Aid on my finger.
Dave is right in the main: I love glass. The poet al-Hariri of Basra describes glass perfectly: “congealed of air, condensed of sunbeam motes, molded of the light of the open plain, or peeled from a white pearl.” Gorgeous! I have glass earrings, paperweights, sculptures, containers. I’m writing this blog on the dining room table, which currently has five glass vases on it. However…
About an hour before our conversation, while waiting for the rice to finish cooking, I’d emptied a box of various odds and ends as part of my office reorganization project. At the very bottom there was an 8” x 11” piece of glass. That meant the box had been filled several years ago, before I acquired a desk with a glass top. The glass in the box came from a cheap drugstore picture frame, pried loose from that setting for clarinet reed work. Adjusting clarinet reeds involves getting them wet and then shaving off little bits of cane. Glass, being flat and non-porous, reduces warping as the reed dries. The kitchen timer beeped. I stuck the glass on top of a piano book and pulled the rice pot off the burner. I was about to give a final stir when I noticed one knuckle beading Christmas-ornament red in two places. The glass had cut me as I’d moved it and I’d never felt a thing!
The exhibition of the Band-Aid, followed by reassurance to Dave that I was confident that I hadn’t bled into our dinner took up most of the next commercial break. Then more movie: courtroom scenes, Jack Nicholson erupting. Evidently a lot happened while I was looking at animal gifs.
“You can’t handle the glass!” Dave said, chuckling the tiniest bit as he wrapped the glass in layers of paper and packing tape.
“Where should we put it?”
“The basement trash.” It seemed a pity, but I couldn’t think of anything better. The same trash had served as a repository for various wine glasses over the years, so it was an appropriate resting place. So there I took it, to spare Dave’s knee the journey, while he watched the ending credits.