December 23, 2014

A Cup of Courage

For the last week I have been enamored with a plastic object.

It started late in the week. I was heading off to work and I saw that someone had dropped one of those insulated cups made to look like a fast food drink cup. You know the kind...
This one was clear with a green tinted lid. It was lying on its side next to a car parked at the curb. It looked as if someone had accidentally knocked it out of the car as they were getting out. My thought as I drove by was that surely the owner would see it when entering the car, and hopefully it wouldn't be crushed before then.

On my way home that afternoon, the car was gone but the cup was still there. How did the cup manage to survive the car pulling away without getting hit? What a clever little drink cup. It was still there in the morning and again that evening. This started my fixation.

Every time I left the house I would look for the cup and coming home I'd do the same. Sometimes it would  get pretty daring with how far out into the street it would venture, but then it would have second thoughts and roll closer to the curb. I actually had to take care to go around it several times to avoid crushing the thing after it had become especially adventurous. This went on for several days with no damage to the cup so surely I wasn't the only one playing the chicken game with a drink cup. After all, no one else had hit it either.

I believe everyone else on the street was as enraptured as I was at watching the tale unfold of the little cup that had been abandoned in the street but then decided to make the most of it, living fearlessly and laughing in the face of danger. That's it, little cup, be BRAVE!

But on Sunday morning, the cup's audacity finally caught up with it. On the way home I noticed there was now a large hole in its side, as if maybe it had survived a close encounter with the side of a tire. It was still holding strong in the street, however, despite the battle wound. But how long could it last with that kind of damage?

The answer? Not long. Leaving the house for work on Monday I was saddened to see hundreds of clear and green shards of acrylic scattered across the road. That poor little drink cup was no more. I can only assume that its demise what brought about by a foreigner to the street, someone who hadn't witnessed the struggles and triumphs of our orphaned cup, someone who had no idea that they had just snuffed out a mini ray of sunshine.

I wanted to stop the car and sweep up the pieces--it just seemed cruel to leave the remnants out in the street like that--but I wasn't sure I could explain why I was blocking the street to pick up trash. So I just mourned in silence.

It was a good cup, a brave cup. For a few days it filled me with anticipation, brought a slice of whimsy, and even offered up a bit of hope. Things looked bleak for that little cup but it made the most out of the hand that life had dealt it. I can't help but be inspired.

Or maybe I just need to socialize more...

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