I threw away the shards of my pretty solid green 3-cup teapot today. I couldn't bear to have the little bits of it – the parts that had formed the elegant handle and the dainty British-looking lid – smolder at me from the trash any longer. There was no hope for it from the moment it fell. The main body, even the spout were intact, but only mockingly so, because where the handle had detached, there were two enormous, tea-spilling holes. For a few days I kept it on my desk, holes turned away from me so that I wouldn't have to stare the truth in the face: my teapot is gone.
I wish I could say that it had broken honestly, innocently. That would have been easier. I so hate when I ruin things, and it is just my luck that I am graceless enough to do it often. Ask the big soup mug my mother and I had spent weeks looking for before I came to college. Ask the pretty blue glass candleholder my older sister gave me as a Christmas gift. Ask the cupboard full of glasses and mugs that cascaded to their doom after I unloaded the dishwasher. But all these were easier than losing my teapot, because this was a casualty of more than artless movement; I broke it in senseless anger. It was collateral damage, I suppose, if that language suits you.
Perhaps it doesn't make sense that I should wax eloquent in the death of a teapot, but in truth, this probably has little to do with the teapot itself. Well, okay, so it has a lot to do with the teapot itself – I loved the thing for the few weeks I had it. I was so delighted to have a teapot that I had dug it out and made tea in it (despite the availability of an electric water heater) before I even made it home from Great Falls, where I bought it. I made tea constantly, sometimes just for the joy of making tea in my very own teapot. I dreamed I was starting a tradition of sorts: come home, kick off my shoes, put the teapot in the microwave, pluck out a nice black tea, and do my homework as the tea cooled and infused in the little green pot beside me.
In a moment of blindness in an argument with Ian, I tossed a pillow at my chair and the little green teapot was gone. Obliterated. It was like lashing out and hurting a young sibling, except that this sibling will not heal. Now I haven't the heart to make any tea. My mug and thermos stand useless by my desk, and though I've disposed of the evidence, all they can do is continue to ask, "Why?" Tonight I looked at teapots available on the internet, but it's like trying to replace a dead friend. They're not the same. Even the place I bought mine from, a charming store called In Cahoots for Tea, doesn't have quite the same pot in the same size. My regret is steeped further with every fancy teapot Google presents to me.
Because I was angry. Because I feel that I have to demonstrate it with violence. Because sometimes artlessness is artful – that my anger should take away what I love before I can scare away those I love. Little shards of it have stuck in my feet now and then over these past few days, and I tread them willingly. Will this one teach me? Will this one? How about now?