Ever play that game where you get a ball, and you get a friend, and no matter what happens, you can’t let that ball touch the ground? You go to class with the ball under your shirt; you whip it back and forth when the teacher looks away. You walk home playing ball, you on one side of the road, your friend on the other, bit of kerb-to-kerb action. Maybe you get daring and hoick it over a car. Maybe the driver stops and yells, and you don’t throw it at his head, because that’s interference, and there can’t be interference: interference taints the game.
This is a bowl my mother sent. I used to keep keys in it. Now, I keep dust in it. It’s an antique, apparently. I thought it was from Pier One, but it’s from The Past, and that makes it part of the game. It’s old and it’s unscathed, and it’s my turn to keep it off the ground. Can’t chip the sides. Can’t scratch the enamel. Can’t throw it at your head.
I’m all for taking care of one’s things, especially the beautiful ones. But this bowl’s not rare, or particularly fragile. It’s not Sèvres or Delft. It’s a pretty, serviceable thing, unused for generations—so I can’t use it, either? I’ve got to buy a whole other bowl for my keys, while this one loafs on the shelf? And what, when I’m dead? Someone else doesn’t use my bowl, and someone else, after them?
This game’s not so fun, any more.
PS: Don’t preserve my mortal remains. Don’t make me the ball.