In my kitchen cupboard sits a battered old mug, no longer white. With a small chip on its lip and my name printed below a dated floral posy, it continues to justify itself among the prettier vessels more fit for common use.
Along with me for the ride through every home and house move since the demise of the 80’s, it has silently borne witness to change and upheaval, urging me on.
“I can do this.”
Sometimes people come into your life when you need them most.
When I was sixteen and seventeen, in my final year of school and struggling, I enjoyed time and sanctuary in the home and company of a mad, sharp friend who made me laugh when I was miserable. Failing deadlines. Heartbroken.
Hanging on by my fingernails, his fiendish humour was the salve. He allowed me to air my fears, cry on his shoulder.
We laughed until we did ourselves damage, watched movies, ate (and otherwise consumed) chemically laden things, some only slightly resembling food. We stayed up late confiding in one another the unjust tragedies of life and loves gone wrong.
His parents, whose lot had never included their fair share of young female energy about, more than accepted- encouraged- my refuge. Though I know they’d hoped for a more significant, longer-term relationship for all of us that was never going to be. It wasn’t like that. (Only because of them this thought saddened me.)
The three may never have known its importance for me at that time but I’ll never forget the welcome they extended to a broken teen at that house in East Bentleigh.
One day during this occupation at my second home I was presented with an ostensibly modest token:
“You’ve surely earnt your own mug by now”.
Ugly mug. Your outward appearance betrays your cherished memory. I could never throw you out.
Do tell me if you have a special mug you’ll never be rid of?