Shattered Glass

I can’t begin to tell you how unreasonable I feel. I’ve just told my kids they can start playing their iPads. It’s not even 4pm yet. Which means they are definitely going to get a solid 3 hours of youtube-ing in today—and this after a full day of zoom classes. Did I mention I keep getting notices that my kids aren’t finishing their school work? That my daughter missed two days of classes because, apparently, meh, she was over it. That my son was supposed to be working on a two-week social studies project and just decided not to do it because he’d “rather look at baseball card auctions on eBay.”

Well, shoot, children. By all means, do what you will. I guess you’re in charge now. I’d really love to punish you, but instead I’m going to let you have even more screen time while I spend a blissful hour coloring in my cliche “irreverent adult coloring book,” with captions such as “I color to hide the pain.” (Not even trying, for Christ’s sake…) Because I’m forty now, and I do things like this.

But before I get my jollies for the day, first, a story.

There were many moments in college when I felt alone. Didn’t we all? Maybe not. But let’s not dig in. One night I was crawling out of my skin with…something. That feeling of being trapped. That feeling of fighting for a life you’d rather just…not. That admission of living small when you suspect you were capable of a lot more than this. I was attending a Christian school at the time. No, I didn’t belong there. But I was there, which also says something.

I didn’t know what to do with myself that night. Such angst, you know? So young, so tormented. To think of it now makes me smile. But I was done. No more. It was around 10pm. I grabbed a bunch of glass jars and bottles from my apartment, and I went down to the school parking lot. I found a thick wall made up of cement blocks that I remembered seeing earlier. It reminded me of the hand ball courts we used to play on in elementary school. I used to be so good at hand ball.

I threw each and every one of those bottles against the wall. What a glorious feeling. The crush of it. The sound it made on an otherwise silent night. That feeling of being bad and messy, a nuisance. Attention-seeking for sure. A little pathetic even. I was afraid, to tell you the truth. It just wasn’t like me to break the rules. But the sound of shattering glass felt like the universe to me in that moment. What an affirmation of my own existence.

Am I the only one here at this point? Am I the only one craving an explosion? I’m a little unhinged, I see it. Just so tired of it all, and we’ve still got a long winter to go. I suspect I might need to get me some glass bottles and a hand ball court. Before I become the shattered glass myself.

6 thoughts

  1. 10 months of quarantining has made everyone a little crazy, I think. A few weeks ago, I witnessed a biker and a car fighting for road space on my street by flicking each other off and purposefully trying to bump into each other.

    Thank goodness we have some vaccines. Yeah, it’ll still be a long winter, but at least there’s an end in sight!


  2. Save your bottles. If it helps break as many as you like. Sounds as if you didn’t have a lot of control over your life when you were younger…wrong school…following the rules. Well, it’s never too late to make your own rules and if that includes bottle breaking…have at it. I can’t even imagine how impossible it is to educate kids over a screen. I’m not sure it’s possible, no matter what people say. Don’t beat yourself up or feel like a failure because it’s the system, not you. We can never control other people, even kids. How important will this all be in fifty years? Just try and survive the best you can in an insane moment in time. Good luck and try not to step on any broken glass.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Such a kind and comforting response. Thank you for this. ❤️ How important will all this be in fifty years…. that’s a really good way to look at it. It’s about surviving now but at least knowing it won’t be permanent. Just trying to take those baby steps…


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