Every Saturday morning, Mom drove Petra and I to ballet. Petra’s class started first, so I sat in a small waiting room downstairs on a hard bench covered in a rectangle of cheap beige carpet.
One day, a brown-haired boy with a pleasant, slightly rat-like face passed by in his ballet clothes. He glanced into the room and went on his way.
After a minute, he returned and stared me down from the doorway. Then he walked into the room, picked up the trash can and emptied its contents over my head. He seemed satisfied with his decision, so he repeated it every week.
“If you die, I get your Vitamix,” Piper said.
“I get your All-Clad skillets,” Akela replied.
“Doesn’t anyone want any of my stuff?” I asked.
“I’ll take your trash cans,” Piper said after a while.
I own a bunch of attractive Japanese trash cans made from ayous wood. One of them cost me $70.
“What about my laptop?”
“I’d prefer your trash cans.”
“Uh . . . I’ll . . . " She couldn’t think of anything.
For Christmas, I gave Mom several presents, including a set of artisan felted wool coasters. The set consisted of two mustard yellow coasters and two royal blue coasters, with an artsy silkscreened design on the top of each coaster.
After a few months, I noticed that Mom consistently used the blue coasters on the correct side and the yellow coasters turned over to wrong side.
"You don’t like the yellow coasters?" I asked her one day.
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