The event I am about to share is insignificant in the great scheme of
istence. Don't we all consider ourselves, subconsciously (unconsciously
is not the case which often cause the biggest frustrations in life.
When I was a boy, my parents had a porcelain ornament which
introduced itself into my consciousness.
The seasons passed with regular inevitability, so let's now jump
and aged about 11 or 12. I was also two houses removed from the one
in which this particular ornament had first come to my attention. Even
at that young age, it represented a link to my cherished past which I
was reluctant - nay, unable to relinquish. I lived in and for the past; I
'looked back' to such an extent that I should have turned into a pillar
of salt long before ever reaching the age I then was.
One night, by prior arrangement, two classmates (who'd invited me
to a youth club in the school across the road from the one we attended)
called in for me. I had previously been a member of the Boys' Brigade in
myself with its interiors. The two lads were STUART MacDONALD and
AIDEN DICK (whose nickname was probably 'Tiny'), and when they rang
the bell, in my eagerness to put on my jacket, a flapping sleeve knocked
the small ornament from its place atop the wooden fire-surround,
whereupon it smashed to pieces on the tiled surface below.
I was dismayed and my parents were understandably annoyed,
condition) and made my way with my two companions to our destination.
I didn't stay long at the club; a combination of melancholy at unwittingly
destroying the glazed log, dissatisfaction with the club itself, and anger at
finding that the dastardly-duo had only invited me along in order to try
and swindle me out of my entrance fee. (An attempt that was doomed
to failure. They would have needed the A-TEAM to accomplish
that - and they weren't around back then.)
I never forgot that ornament. The years passed and I grew to adult-
at my part in the little log's destruction. If ever I was at a Jumble Sale or
Christmas Fayre, I would keep an eye out for one to replace it - but I was
never successful in my aspiration. It must have been about 32 or 33 years
later that I saw its double in a charity shop, and - despite the unrealistic
price that such establishments seem to place on much of their stock
these days - I readily handed over my cash.
Well, I've had that replacement for around 11 years now. I look
somewhat - 'though never completely. It's strange to think that most of
my life has been lived in its absence, because now that its doppelganger
graces the same shelf-space the original would have occupied had it
survived, it's almost as if history has been magically rewritten to
include it in my memories of the time when it wasn't around.
Needless to say (but I'll say it anyway), it's a good feeling to be
redeemed myself (however slightly) for some heinous sin, the shame
of which has haunted me for most of my life and from which I
thought I'd never be free.
Is there a moral to this story? Or even a point to it, as some of the
it's as difficult to articulate as providing precise dates for the foregoing