The plates had to go. Not the bowls or utensils-just the plates. They were too large or not big enough and the wrong shade of blue. Not a Robin’s egg at all. The texture when you ate anything was the deal breaker. Gritty, from the home firing of the so-called ‘Master of Dinnerware.’ Josef, the man who made custom plates for gasbags like my partner, gave each collection a name of someone long dead and not quite famous enough for you to ask who they were. He hated that suckers with too much money, no direction and very little sense, like Martin, purchased his artwork without so much as a courtesy compliment or query about the dead guy.

So, these hideous plates-artwork, if we must-accumulated in the dining room and the kitchen and in the garage. Unboxed and protected by bubble wrap in the heat of our dark garage, waiting on Martin to work them into the nightly rotation. I was waiting for him to leave for the weekend so I could make a clean sweep with my nephews. Take it all to the dump, not just a trash can or dumpster. I wanted to witness their final resting place. I only had one more day to wait. One more silent, aggrieved meal to eat off of these despicable plates. And then I would replace them all with simple, white, clean plates. Unadorned and utilitarian, as they should be. Marital consequences be damned.

© 2022 Jeff E. Brown. All rights reserved.

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