Object Writing #2 (loosely in the style of Adriana Thomas)

by Shaun Terry

Metal Bucket

Obviously, I can’t control you. I could batter you, melt you to my designs, but you wouldn’t be you, and what would that do for me? I see my reflection in you, and sometimes, that’s nice, but sometimes, it hurts. It hurts because I’m not always just what I want to be, and there’s only one way with you. I could never expect you to bend your vision of me to make me look a little lighter, a little more ethereal, a little more supple.

You’re tough and resilient, and I admire you for it. No one notices. You barely exist, and I hardly understand it. I see you; all of you, but it’s as though others are blind to your existence, when all I want to do is hold you, despite your bipolar relationship with me. Why won’t you embrace me? You’re happy to be used by me and so many others, but after all that you’ve let pour from you, after all the help you’ve given me, you’ll never let me hear the words.

Your silence slices through me like the phosphorescence of Northern Lights in a rural Alaskan sky. I want to be whisked away in those angelic wisps, to places that you’ve left uncovered for all but… Has anyone reached the opaque, obsidian, natural heart of you?

I’m standing in the cold, wanting warmth to pour out of you, like liquid, bubbling up from the bottom of your soul in the form of suds from the ocean’s black, cold floor. Instead, your metallic grasp on me is loose and rigid, indifferent to my loss, indifferent to what I need from you. You’re utilitarian; you’re an old steel bucket of the sort that rural housewives in the Southeast would use to wipe down wooden floors. Why have I invested so much of myself in you? Where is this leading? I have so many questions for you, and all you can do is peer back with that motionless, dead-eyed stare? I sometimes feel like I can’t even see you, and I’m sure that you don’t see me. Where are we going and what have we become? I’m a slave to you and you’re the tool I use to try to help me feel all those things that I’m wanting to feel, when instead, everything is left feeling antiseptic and sterile. Is that all you want? Is that your purpose?

I want to live in a world that’s messy and imperfect. I’m tired of the austere, monk-like devotion to purity that keeps you from getting closer to me than arms’ length. I want to make messes with you and never clean them. I want to move beyond this facile world that you’ve locked me into.