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Article #43: My Delicate Love is Precious

Sometimes you find love in the strangest of places. Sometimes it happens when you least expect it. Sometimes it happens with a thing and not a person. All those "sometimes" happened to me.

Eight or maybe ten years ago, I happened upon a yard sale. Pack rat that I am, I needed to avoid them. I didn't need any more "stuff". But there I was -- deep in the midst of discards. I walked quickly among the tables trying hard not to find any "stuff" to carry away with me.

But something called my name and its glint caught my eye: a tiny transparent pink glass. Its cup was a tad bigger than your typical shot glass. It had a stem quite like a martini glass, but in miniature. It was fluted and etched with a most delicate design. It was sooooo beautiful. I fell in love with this oh-so-delicate and ever-so-magnificent pink glass. I knew it wanted me the same way -- it told me so.

I gently picked it up and took it to the lady with the money box. "A nickel," she said.

"A nickel??," I said.

"Yes, a nickel . . . please."

"Just a nickel for my new love!?" Oh my. . .

I took her home, washed her and her beauty shone brighter. She was mine and only I would put lips to her cup. Only I would cradle her and hold her to the light. She became my constant nighttime companion.

I am a drinker. I imbibe. Wine with meals. Tall drinks when socializing. At bedtime, chilled tequila -- only Jose Gold, kept in my freezer. Such a beautiful and soothing night cap -- the golden nectar in the delicate pink glass which quickly becomes coated with frost. Putting my lips to her cup, I let the cool hotness swish around my mouth and slide down my throat as I hold the glass near the reading lamp between sips and admire its shimmering beauty once again.

This would become my ritual most nights. A difficult day would require two. An exhausting day, none. This love affair has been blessed with longevity -- unlike many love affairs I've had.

This year, a few months ago, I had to move. Given its value and delicacy, I packed my glass safely, securely, specially. I don't believe there was any other object that I treasured so deeply as my nickel glass. Oh sure -- there were books and guitars and photos, but the glass was my every-night-lover.

Then it happened. I lost my love. I was absolutely heartbroken. I unpacked dozens and dozens of boxes. Went through every wad of packaging material -- lots of times. Searched through dishes and all kitchen items while pulling my hair out. Found martini glasses, white and red wine glasses, shot glasses, champagne glasses and placed them in their designated places in my great Aunt Lena's china cabinet. But, lo!, there was an empty space in the cabinet. My "girl" was gone. Felt like a lover had just walked out on me, but this was different. I had driven the lover away -- so to speak. It was my fault.

Oh how I missed her. No other glass was so magical. Jose did not taste/feel the same. The ritual ended.

With nearly every box unpacked and every item in its newly designated place, I started to give up hope. I asked my former roommates to search their belongings. They did. I begged them to search a second and a third time. I gave up hope. I had to. Hope's good breakfast, but for supper it's a terrible meal. Hope had to go -- it was compounding the pain.

A month or so after the move, I was going out of town with my son. It was early morning and we were running late. I debated my coffee needs: do I stop at Starbuck's or do I make a to-go-cup here at home? I opted to save a few dollars at home knowing that time nor money would be saved at Starbuck's.

Made my usual Sumatra. Pulled out my go-cup that was the most dribble-less. Took the lid off to make the pour and LORD, HAVE MERCY!! There she was!! Wrapped in paper towels with more towels stuffed around her, she was securely nestled in a non-breakable vessel. "OH HAPPY DAY!"

That evening, I resumed my ritual. I exhaled as I felt my relationship return. I apologized to her over and over again -- how could I possibly forget where I put her?? But, she accepted my apology -- she told me so.

As I reflect on the joy and the pain, I realize that one can lose a love in the blink of an eye. I know this -- I am a blues woman. However, I think that more than the pain of the loss, I had been beating myself up severely, again and again, for treating something I loved so dearly in such a careless manner.

Sure, times were demanding and the move had me moving at warp speed, but this was pure and simple neglect. I couldn't even blame it on the forgetfulness of old age. Whatever the circumstances, I should have taken more care with my goodness. Should have held her by the hand for the transition. Should have hand carried her to her spot in the family heirloom cabinet. Should have known exactly where she was. "Love, oh love, oh careless love. . ."

I vow to cherish all that is precious to me. Of course, I can never stop a lover from leaving, but it would be the lover's choice and not a cause that stems from my doings. I'll never put on a go-cup lid as an act of cherishing. Never. Never wrap my love in a paper towel. Never. Never.

Today, my cup is overflowing. I think she needs a name. I think I'll call her "Precious". She likes that name. . . she told me so.