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Chinda LaMicce

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The Broken Chirstmas Ornament
By Chinda LaMicce
Monday, April 08, 2002

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It was cold today. As I reached for a sweater in the closet this morning, I knocked a Christmas ornament from the shelf. It was early morning and while it was cold outside, the sun came streaming through the window and shone bright.

I heard, rather than saw, it fall. The dull thump and unmistakable crackle as it broke into a thousand, sharp pieces. As I looked down, I could see how the sun refracted off the tiny, glass shards. They lay there glittering all over the floor and mixed throughout were shards of the dull blood red sheen that had once been the surface of the globe. In some places, I could still see the scene that had once graced the surface. A few trees and a cabin in the woods, snow shimmering on the roof and tree tops.

I sat there, on the hard wood floor, for what seemed like forever, staring at the broken glass globe. It seemed ironic to me that it happened this way. Robertís mother gave me that ornament at what I had hoped to be the first of many Christmases that we might share.

Over the months since we had broken up, little-by-little, I had packed away most of the objects in my life that could remind me of him. At the bottom of that same closet lies a medium-sized box filled with the remains of our relationship. There are his love letters, written on creamy white paper with a black fountain pen. The words imagined our future and exposed his soul to me. There is a small X-men Wolverine action figure. It was a Christmas present the same year as the ornament. There are a few articles of clothing, I knew he liked to see me wear. Things I couldnít bear to wear again. And, there are dozens of letters I wrote to him, but never sent. They exposed my own soul and fears--ones that, unfortunately, eventually came true .

The irony is that the Christmas ornament wasnít in the box because I thought it fragile. In the box, I rationalized, it might get crushed. As is stood there marveling at how tiny the glass shards were, I could see how the relationship broke into as many, if not many more, pieces. My heart lay ruined. My soul fractured. My confidence devastated. Each lay alongside the ornament on the floor this morning. The blood red glass reflects my anger and disappointment for that which I thought I had given up everything.

The irony is that like the ornament, our relationship crackled and shattered. Except, it took months not an spit-second moment. Do you know how if a glass gets too cold, too suddenly it will crack but not actually break? Not until you touch it? That was how our relationship broke. There was a sudden freeze. And, I refused to touch it. I let it stay broken and tip-toed around much too long. When it finally broke into the same thousand pieces, when I saw the ruin of what I thought would be the life-long love of my life, I was not surprised but sad.

Like the globe, our relationship was held together by surface tension. It had nothing inside; inside must have been only air. Because, I have to believe, if it were solid it never could have crumbled. Like a solid piece of stone-ware that has surface crackle, it merely would have added to the character of the relationship, not leave it in shards on the floor.

So, I sat there looking at the globe crying. Iím still in mourning. Iím still angry. I have no idea how long this is going to last, but each day it becomes easier. And, even if it isnít, I tell myself it is, because otherwise it would be too difficult.

This morning, I was very careful when I picked up the pieces of up the broken ornament, I didnít cut myself at all. Iíve already been hemorrhaging much too much. Anymore and I would surely die.

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Reviewed by mike W. 12/13/2006
This short story is too long!!!!

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