Do you live with broken things?

Here’s something new for me: when something breaks, I throw it away. Wow. Can a Nobel be far away?

It hurts my heart a little but wonder why is this such an amazing thing to me? Waste not, want not? My Czech peasant upbringing? My mom’s twenty-seven-year-old ball of string?

Why would anyone keep broken stuff? I can’t say, but I have drawers of broken pens, racks of clothes that no longer fit, and tools in bona fide toolboxes that don’t work. Maybe I’ll want to fix them one day? My wife MADE me give away the broken car I keep out on the street. Meanie.

Here’s what happened: I reached for a pen to do some writing. I scribble three words and run out of ink. I swear and wonder what happened. Instinctively, at least for me, I put the pen back in the drawer and start searching for a pen that writes. There are ten pens there, but none work. What in the world was I going to do with them? Buy new cartridges? Hope the ink magically thins and starts to flow? Miraculously fill? If these are Mont Blancs and are repairable and expensive I can see some sense in this, but these are all junk pens.

So, with a light bulb shining hot on the top of my head, I throw them all away. No problem. I’ve got five blister packs of new ones in another drawer. I’m kind of finicky about pens. (If you mist know, I’ll take any color as long as it’s a Pilot G2, 0.38 mm nib.)

I wonder what it does to us, this living with broken stuff?


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