Kintsugi, the Art of Gold
The bowl, knocked off the table in a fit of rage, takes its time in the lazy descent to the floor. The house is silent for those few pin-pricking moments, the tension not dissipated, like holding its breath as the porcelain bowl tumbles end over end, twisting, turning, dancing, and finally smashing against the wood floor.
And the air explodes, too.
Father bursts from his seat on the couch, his face red, livid. Mother jumps up to stop him, and Brother recoils. He knows he fucked up, again, and he takes off toward his room to cower under the bed sheets. The house rocks under the force of the door slamming. Father’s stomping footsteps echo down the small hallway and Brother screams in anger and in fear and Mother is reprimanding Father for overreacting, even though her favourite bowl was just shattered to pieces, and Dog next to me starts to shake so I cover her ears and shake too.
It’s the Universes fault, I know that.
I grip Dog tightly and repeat those words.
It’s the Universe that gripped that bowl tightly in its hands and yanked downwards. It’s the Universe’s fault for creating Action and Consequence, and it’s the Universe’s fault for not cluing in Brother. It’s the Universe’s fault for making noises travel far too quickly and far too loud, for making the sound of Brother’s tantrum, and the sound of the wooden spoon smacking his lower back, far too brutish, and it penetrates my ears through clenched fingers.
The fragments on the ground shake with me, too.
It’s the Universe’s fault for making anger, and for making bowls that shatter too easily, and for making Spanking Spoons and for making cups and outlets and permanent markers and all the things Brother is not supposed to play with but does anyways, and for making these nights that are so disruptive, and for making couches that are too big for me to sit on all by myself. It’s the Universe’s fault for making turmoil like this.
But I can fix it. The Universe thoroughly fucked up creation, but I can make it better.
I can take on the Universe for my family.
I take a deep breath, and I suck in all the tension. I suck in all the bad, all the negative like a big Universe-destroying vacuum, and with practiced motions, I fling open a window and I expel it all into the darkness of the night. Just like that.
The fragments on the ground are still, and the house is quiet.
I take a plastic bag, and quietly gather up all the shards. I take them past Brother’s room, where Mother and Father are both sitting on his bed and talking quietly to him, where tears stream down his face, but he nods as they try to fill in the gaps the Universe didn’t bother to fill. I take them past that room, and down the long, stretching hall and into the empty kitchen.
I dump the content of the bag onto the table, and sort them out.
I grab the glue. I pull up a chair.
I take the cracks, and I fill them with gold.
Anna Boyer is a part-time student, full-time writer in high school. She has competed in writing competitions since 7th grade, and has recently won a silver medal in the Scholastic Art and Writing competition. Aside from writing, she enjoys playing the trombone, exploring new places, and spending time with her dog.
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