shattered crystal

At about fifteen each of us heard, “At eighteen you are out of the house”. It wasn’t cruel, it was just the way it was and at eighteen I was off. I never went to college, instead I borrowed $1,500 dollars for a year of computer school and went to the city.

I went to school, worked most evenings at a department store and hooked up with a rugby team who became my tribe. I graduated and found work for an IT firm as a tape librarian at $2.50 per hour. I stayed there 22 years.

a few pieces

For those first few years things were tight but at the end of the month I always had just a little left. Each month I would go out and buy a single Waterford Crystal cut glass piece of stemware. Sometimes only a cordial glass was in the budget and sometimes a champagne flute. But each month I tried to add one.

The house was pretty wild with the three of us. And if I was quiet and bookish, they more than made up for it, and I might have once or twice joined in the reveling. I kept the glasses on the floor in my closet, a safe little secret. One evening as I lounged on the bed my girlfriend put something in the closet and knocked a hanger free. It tumbled down ringing pure and clear as crystal shattered.

why not use it ?

Wrapped up in newsprint like crystal mummies boxed and forgotten they hid in safety. But now, what value in beauty closeted away? Instead they are out, and used. Not too often for they are leaded, but if you someday stop by you can enjoy your ice water in a crystal tumbler. And if you break it? Well, they are made to be used just we are made to live.

27 Comments on “shattered crystal”

  1. mindfuldiary says:

    Love this story Bill! Crystal? haha. ;P My mother also collected chrystal, that always stood in closet behind glass, away from us kids. I personally got talent breaking everything, my husband actually makes fun about that, counting how many single cups/plates we got from a collection of 12 left ;P to add to our collection of singles.

  2. Shannon says:

    The glasswear is great – so beautiful. I’m glad we use it. Good thing you decided to keep your girlfriend around 🙂

  3. russtowne says:

    Crystal and rugby. There is something poetic about combining the fragile beauty and cool stillness with the tough competitive passionate action. It creates balance in the universe and is yet another indication as to how unique you are, my friend.


    • billgncs says:

      I think we are all unique with our own tales. One good thing, I always thought I had a boring life until I started writing out some of the stories.

      I appreciate your kind words.


  4. brudberg says:

    Crystal glass are meant to be used.

  5. theobscurepoet says:

    an interesting story, with deeper meaning, and rings, like crystal, of your truth..i quite enjoyed older one than i thought, you are…lol.

  6. What a great story. My mom collected crystal. It brings back memories from childhood.

  7. Lori Lipsky says:

    What a post. It must have been scary to be out of the house and independent by eighteen. I can’t imagine! I love the thought that you spent your extra money on Waterford pieces. I have some lovely Waterford pieces. Most are from my mother, but I’m sure you treasure yours even more, because of the way you bought them and what they meant at the time.

    Wonderful post. I won’t soon forget it.

    • billgncs says:

      thanks Lori – I think it was harder on my sisters than me, and I was lucky to find a good group of guys to identify with. I am sure that the memory of those pieces owned by your mother have so much meaning to you.

      Thanks for stopping by

  8. jiltaroo says:

    I have crystal put away too…I might just bring it out after reading that! t’s nice to be back. Jen xx

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