East Vancouver sidewalk, downtown east-side, 2pm on a rainy Friday forenoon.
Someone says 'Up? Down?' as you pass by. Not hopefully, not anything. Because someone who wants it will be along shortly. Maybe today it's you. Maybe not. Doesn't matter because there's always someone and if today it'(more)s not you, fuck off and keep walking.
Today is five days til Welfare Wednesday if you don't count today. Easy to do, since today never counts.
On the sidewalk: shards of glass, crushed and blackened pop cans, clear splinters that were once the plastic shafts of Bic pens. The smeared yellow resin of crack rocks ground underfoot because cops have been by. They've made a show of dumping the flaps held in people's hands. Stepping on them, grinding their shining heels. Goodbye.
The resentful fearful sidelong looking-away looks of hustlers, junkies, beggars on the damp and dirty concrete. It is cold for June.
Cops down in the Westend put on a different show. Cantering mid-street on their horses, clip-clop, clip-clop.
More glamour than the ghetto of Hastings where it's just squad cars and beat cops.
But near to the beach like this there are tourists taking photos. The mounted police; outsiders love it. The pics will be posted to Facebook walls all over: Oh, the Canadian mounted police! So quaint. So sexy, to some...
The cops make their way down to Third Beach, hooves leaving U's in the sand. Asking sunbathers, bike couriers, two elderly Irish tourists to dump their beers.
Even I've had to dump my beer, a lone Sun-Chaser purchased days before from a $2 liquorstore bin and squirreled in my bag for just such an afternoon as this:
workday over. Waves lapping. A notebook under the pen clutched in my fist.
A perfect moment of freedom ruined for show. (less)
People throw them away. Because they are broken. Because they have the ability to cause pain. They are dangerous. They are useless.
But those shards of glass used to be something. They were whole until something broken them, until they were shattered. Forcefully, or unwittingly, something came alon(more)g and destroyed what they once were. It made them dangerous, gave them sharp edges and the ability to bite. But everyone disregards them, called them trash, throws them away.
If someone were simply willing to risk the small nicks, the tiny cuts of a crying piece of glass. If only someone would realize that they were hurt first. A person could carefully take them, spend the time to sand their edges smooth. They could be colored and combined, placed in the sun, and turned into something beautiful. Not whole, but not broken. Something worth keeping not for their functionality, but because they are beautiful in and of themselves.
Are the hopes and dreams, the possibilities, of shards of glass really all that different from humans? We all have potential if only the world had the patience and the will to not throw us away before we had half a chance. (less)
Saintly sinners and
Curly-haired clouds broadcast
The glittering skyline
Anxieties hanging with a sharpness
Of broken stained-glass
(more) Beer flows a fairy-tale princess
Meticulously careless self-indulgence
Razor wire dreams cut deep
Hobo musicians hitching a ride
On deviant melodies
The night swaying, sweating
As the moon swings like a pendulum
Between broken boulevards
And flickering neon lights
Redbrick edifices imprison
Like a tomb of booze and lies,
The sidewalk sags and buckles
Beneath your cross to bear
A heat that rises from the streets
Falls from adulterated skies
Onto burned out allies;
Burned out faces
And the dirty old men
With their dirty old minds
Like these dirty old streets
Polluted by time
They often tell you that the human heart is fragile, both emotionally and physically; that it is similar to glass. A simple crack formed into the matrix of glass can cause detrimental effects to the structure. Similarly, an intense moment can hinder emotional growth and in some cases cause(more) a breakdown of the very core of an individual.
As glass shatters sharpened shards emerge capable of tearing that which they touch. As our hearts shatter the shards which emerge, not unlike glass, are capable of tearing not only us, but those around us.
Because of this it is important to handle our hearts the same way we handle our glassware, and likewise, the hearts of others. With care.
This is not the end of the story, however. Even though our glasses and hearts may shatter and shred does not mean that it cannot be repaired. The repairs require time, conscious effort, and in some cases, a little bit of help. The finest pieces of glassware all start in the same place; tiny shards of glass we call sand. Sometimes when we shatter we should focus less on the broken pieces and more on the new beginning.
Truthfully, sometimes we have to break our own hearts and grind the pieces into sand so that true beauty can be created.(less)
Edward was on his tip-toes, balanced somehow against the counter, trying to edge the glass onto the the cupboard shelf. It was just slightly out of his reach, and normally he would have boosted himself onto the counter and simply sat there putting the clean cups away, but normally(more) he had two working arms - and normally he would be able to get this done before anyone else was awake.
But his arm was off (more like, 'destroyed'), and he was dithering about, avoiding the trip to his mechanic and the potential doom that would bring him. He had been ordered three times to get to the train station and yet somehow something always came up. It had taken copious effort, but he had wormed a chink into the plate armor Mustang seemed to wear about him.
"What on earth are you doing?" Mustang's voice in the doorway startled Edward, and he lost that precarious balance he had, dropping back to flat-foot on the floor. The glass that had very nearly edged onto its shelf tottered a second, and then tumbled over his head. He made a vain grab but missed, and Edward winced as the cup shattered on the tile.
If Roy wasn't awake before, he certainly was now. "Fullmetal!"
"Sorry, sorry-" Edward patted his pockets, looking for the chalk he usually kept on him when his usual method of transmutation was unavailable. "I'll fix it."
Roy crossed the kitchen and steered Edward away from the broken glass. "I've got half a dozen of those glasses easily," he said, "Please, for the sake of my sanity, get out of my kitchen."
"YOUR kitchen?" Edward snorted, and Roy prodded him out of the room. "I was just trying to clean up."
"I applaud your efforts," Roy said dryly. "Out."(less)