My roommate smashed her water bottle on the road because she put it on top of her car and forgot about it. She was paranoid that the glass shards would get stuck in her tire, so I tried to get every last drop of the tiny pieces in the pockets of the asphalt. She rolled back with her car, and I inspected her tires as my index finger spouted blood. I wiped in on a box and threw it away.
The next morning, I heard a crash from the kitchen at 6:30 a.m. Lily had knocked over her mason jar, but she was unashamed, purring and galloping around the house like she was proud that she had caused a ruckus. With no broom to our name, I wet a paper towel and wiped the floor so every last fleck was stuck to its fibers and lived safely in the garbage. A new red cut on my hand.
Later, intrigued by the proximity of the two shatterings, I asked my roommate how she would analyze the situation. She said that it was the universe testing her to see how easily she can pick up her broken pieces and move on. “What did you think it was?” I told her it was a bad omen, and she put her fingers to her temples and said, “Cancel, clear, cancel, clear, cancel, clear.”
I wanted to say that it was a metaphor for me having to pick up other people’s messes and moving on. It’s funny how self-absorbed we both are.