Shattered Glass | Teen Ink

Shattered Glass MAG

February 19, 2009
By DarkenedStarlight BRONZE, St. Louis, Missouri
DarkenedStarlight BRONZE, St. Louis, Missouri
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

He slowly turns the pliers in his hand, curling the wire around itself. With one last squeeze, the next piece of his beach glass mobile is complete. It sparkles as he holds it up to the sun and translucent brown, blue, and green dance across weathered skin.

The soft sound of clinking glass echoes through the workshop. The small room is furnished with a table and a folding chair. Older mobiles hang from the ceiling, moving slightly from side to side. A 25-year-old fan sits in the corner, blowing softly, ruffling the pages of the book emblazoned with a cross that sits on the corner of the table. One framed photograph stands next to the book. It is of a younger man – brown bottle in hand, arms around a smiling woman – grinning into the camera on a picturesque beach. The photograph isn’t there for happy nostalgia. It is a reminder of what he has lost and what he still has to gain.

He pushes his wire-rimmed glasses up his nose and settles into the worn folding chair. He sifts carefully through the round-edged beach glass, looking for the right piece to attach next.

The browns and greens shine back into his eyes. He can still identify the color of glass that each beer brand used for their bottles. This green is for Hefeweizen, this brown for Budweiser. He wonders, as he always does, if these well-washed shards are from bottles he himself carelessly threw into the ocean.

The mobile is for his granddaughter, Andi. Her brother, Gordon, has a similar one – well, he does if Melissa hasn’t thrown it out. He wouldn’t blame his daughter if she had. She has every right to still hate him. She has every right to ignore his existence.

In his daydreams, the lovingly crafted mobiles hang over the cribs. Melissa and her husband might hate them but decide that the children need something of their only living grandparent. Melissa might use them as a lesson: never touch glass bottles; the stuff inside is pure poison.

Another piece is firmly attached, and he checks his watch. His meeting is in an hour. They are going to play cards. His wife loved cards. Every time they play at a meeting, he is reminded of how she had begged him to go to a meeting, to talk to someone, to call his brother, to play chess with Melissa, to take Max hunting for shells, to walk the dog on the beach, to feed the cat, to do anything but drown himself in a brown glass bottle.

He finds another piece of beach glass and carefully inserts a wire in the small hole, threading his past and tying it in a mobile to hang over his granddaughter’s bed, so she might know some day that he never meant to hurt anyone.

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This article has 154 comments.

on Oct. 22 2012 at 9:00 pm
BridgetB BRONZE, Moreland Hills, Ohio
1 article 0 photos 4 comments
this is incredible! i love how throughout the piece small hints paint the big picture! It's heart breaking and heart warming all at the same time  

IssaK BRONZE said...
on Sep. 30 2012 at 4:01 pm
IssaK BRONZE, Farmington, Utah
3 articles 1 photo 19 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be ."

This work had me mezmoried! I loved the idea of this peice. What made you think of it?

BirdYvette19 said...
on Sep. 11 2012 at 12:15 am
When you're in a not good position and have got no money to go out from that point, you would require to take the loan. Because that should help you definitely. I take secured loan every single year and feel myself fine because of that.

on Sep. 8 2012 at 2:15 pm
DifferentTeen PLATINUM, Seaford, Delaware
32 articles 2 photos 329 comments

Favorite Quote:
"There’s no such thing as true love, just spurts of insanity—falling over and over again, thinking that won’t happen to me"

Wow, I have to say, I got a little lost in the story there for a while. Really just a captivating, inspirational piece. Very emotional, and had real depth to it. I hope I'm not the only one when I say I was a little sad reading about him losing his wife, and his grandaughter's parents not liking him. I wanted to know why they didn't like him, he seems likea really nice man. Wonderful writing, I loved it! If anyone has the time to check out my work I'd appreciate it!

. said...
on Aug. 19 2012 at 9:45 pm
The way you slowly integrate details into the background bring realization to the reader in a subtle but stunning way. The descriptions are something I want to think over and savor and they are absolutely beautiful. Keep writing!

on Aug. 18 2012 at 5:55 pm
Catthatbarks SILVER, Vancouver, Other
7 articles 0 photos 10 comments
I love how you implied something without actually saying it.

on Aug. 18 2012 at 10:02 am
GuardianoftheStars GOLD, Shongaloo, Louisiana
17 articles 0 photos 495 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Let's tell young people the best books are yet to be written; the best painting, the best government, the best of everything is yet to be done by them."
-John Erslcine

Nice! Wished there was more! :)

on Jul. 4 2012 at 1:44 pm
LongLazyDays55 BRONZE, Other, Other
3 articles 0 photos 94 comments

Favorite Quote:
I haven't failed. I just haven't found 10,000 ways that won't work. [Thomas Edison]

When words fail, music speaks.

This was such a good piece. I liked the sense that the reader doesn't know anything about the main character. You've got to work out the story by reading it.   Keep writing! 

on May. 21 2012 at 9:01 am
hobo12321 PLATINUM, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
20 articles 11 photos 62 comments

Favorite Quote:
none, there's too many, although the one about the grapefruit is good. Any by Douglas Adams

really awesome peice of writing!


on Apr. 29 2012 at 9:51 am
_ella_herondale BRONZE, San Diego, California
4 articles 2 photos 222 comments

Favorite Quote:
"...If the Thames that ran beside them...recalled a night where the moon shone as brightly as a shilling on the same boy and girl... and thought to themselves, 'at last, the wheel comes full circle,' they kept their silence."

Mysterious and beautiful. The lead was amazing because it really pulled me in, and your descriptions were beautiful. I love the vagueness of it. Good job!!

on Apr. 7 2012 at 5:01 pm
Athena19 SILVER, Central Point, Oregon
5 articles 1 photo 103 comments

Favorite Quote:
'Love people. Cook them tasty food.' -Penzey's Spices

this is really beautiful! The imagery is amazing, and I loved the flashbacks

Olliegh said...
on Mar. 16 2012 at 7:55 pm
You sound like a professional. I can picture exactly what you are talking about. Write on!

mollyb SILVER said...
on Feb. 23 2012 at 10:04 pm
mollyb SILVER, North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania
9 articles 0 photos 12 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I may not be there yet, but I'm closer than I was yesterday."

Wow, wonderful way of using simple words to tell an amazing story:)

on Feb. 23 2012 at 6:44 pm
Dolly9471 BRONZE, Berkeley Heights, New Jersey
3 articles 0 photos 35 comments

Favorite Quote:
In the end will will not remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
Martin Luther King Jr.

Love the message and story!  Keep on writing!!!

firecleansed said...
on Feb. 23 2012 at 11:00 am
firecleansed, West Jordan, Utah
0 articles 1 photo 60 comments
Great use of simple words. The use of the words create a simple story. those are always the hardest to not read, learn from, and then make sure that you are doing what you need to.

on Feb. 1 2012 at 10:15 pm
JKaufman BRONZE, Ada, Michigan
4 articles 0 photos 4 comments
Beautiful piece. I loved how the meaning of all the seemingly unrelated pieces came together at the end. Really good work.

on Feb. 1 2012 at 7:35 pm
UnspokenWords21 SILVER, Shelbyville, Illinois
6 articles 1 photo 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
Giving up doesn't mean you're means you are strong enough to let go...

This was very-well written. There was a lot about this man's life in this little bit of writing, but it wasn't delivered in a descriptive way. Very good Work!

on Feb. 1 2012 at 4:15 pm
I really enjoyed this piece. It was extremely emotional, obviously, and very engaging and relatable. The one thing I might change is the fact that it's in the present tense--that was disconcerting to me, especially in the beginning. Thank you for writing something so beautiful. :)

tinatinatina said...
on Jan. 10 2012 at 8:00 pm
Great read! Please read, I wish I was the Rain, my friend wrote it, it's great!

on Jan. 10 2012 at 6:03 pm
seamless BRONZE, Hamilton, Connecticut
2 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as the tangle with human emotions," - James Michener

That was a really touching piece. I absolutely loved the way you wrote it. Even if you didn't understand a word you were reading, the piece would still move you because of your way with words. I hope I can write as good as you someday. Excellent piece of work.