Author’s note: This piece was a response to a creative writing exercise, which asked me to write about something that is rarely written about (the exercise is from Natalie Goldberg’s Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life, if you are interested). Aside from being a good exercise in writing, I also found it a good exercise in thinking (and therefore a good post for this blog)—in thinking differently about everyday objects, in acknowledging our surroundings rarely noticed, and, ultimately, in being attuned to the enchanted of the mundane.
What am I…to you?
I enable you to travel between dimensions and through walls. I open you to the world and close it behind you. I make your world bigger, or smaller depending on which way you ask me to turn. I give you privacy to pee. I keep your linens out of sight. We shake hands multiple times a day, and yet, you rarely look me in the eye.
I know I cannot turn without you, though legends speak of border collies that can turn me with their teeth. There are times I need a key. While I bear your fingerprints, and know the intricacies of your hands—their grip, pressure, and cadence—without the appropriate key, I cannot open: it matters not how much pressure you apply. When you are unsure, I sense your hesitation. I feel your weight, debating whether to stay or whether to go. Like the most steadfast of friends, I try not to sway your decision. If you listen carefully I tell with one unmistakable “click” that your world is—at least for the time being—entirely secure. You need not double-check.
There are times I jam, or fall apart, but like all living things I have a breaking point. I am resigned with my place in this world—with the fact that I rarely get polished, or cleaned, and that I often feel the brunt of your anger. What insults me the most is that when you do speak about me in the colloquial sense, I am a resignation of foolishness and stupidity. Given what I am to you, and how you cannot see this, would it not be justified for me to refer to you with the same indignation you give towards me?
Perhaps. But that is not the path I choose to take.