Broken things [one in the hand]

by Charlotte E. Wilde

It should be no secret at this point that broken things are tantalizing, somehow more valuable for their fragility. I suppose we also have to consider the merit of the act of breaking– the appeal of watching something crumble after several teaspoons-worth of measured contamination, of careful neglect.

“Control,” Eva told me, “you move about the room like you’re thirsty for it.”

I think I laughed then–one of those laughs pitched high to dodge a truth, the kind that slips from beneath a hiccup of surprise at the idea that something as private as sleepless night could be read so easily by a stranger.


As I walked away, I rolled the vowels back and forth over my tongue. I was looking for an argument but all I found was the taste of Debaser and un Chien Andalou.

I had watched myself running this time, freeze framed like a film stripped down to a scene where an eye blinks open and I’m speaking underwater trying to explain myself. Ants crawled out of my palm and over my skin, all bared  via email with an intro I’d surely meant to erase.

Or had I? Let this serve as a reminder that we’re never in control, merely in a perpetual state of losing it. Still, control is like a Chinese finger trap in that sense– the grip can’t be broken, the hand has to open of its own accord.

An idea which is about as surreal as its experience.

I suppose I’ll be here for a while, just trying to relax my grip.