His Trouble with Glassbyjthserra©
Sitting in the courtroom, accused of wanton destruction of property James Alton could only rest his head on his hand and daydream. The case had degenerated into an endless flow of paperwork and legal moves. His court appointed lawyer hoped to make a name for himself on this case, so he continued to draw out a hopeless cause. James had given up.
Throughout his lifetime he lived with a strange and dangerous affinity to glass. Because of this he stayed in trouble. Never sure if it was the polished smooth hardness of its surface, the clear transparency of its form, or the sparkling reflections it cast, he was inextricably drawn to glass. Through the years, whenever his parents heard the crash of glass, he was nearby. As the baseball smashed through the hallway window, he held the bat, as the football bounced through the basement storm door, he stood at the kicking tee, and as the shards and slivers crashed at his feet, he stood at the door with bloody knuckles. As he grew, the stigma stayed with him as glass shattered more times than he could count on both hands.
Strangely, no one else in his family broke glass; he was the only one. In trying to understand this curse, he tried to remember his earliest life experiences. After much consideration he decided it all started when he was about 4 years old. His earliest childhood memory was also his first episode with glass and his first lie.
James' brother Rick, about three years younger than he, still slept in a crib. The crib was positioned beneath a wide window that lit the entire room and gave a wonderful view of their back yard. James was too short to see out of the window unless he climbed into Rick's crib.
Rick had just started walking and James took great joy in climbing into his crib, boosting his brother out and then watching him go to wake their parents. They were so amazed that Rick could escape the crib at that age. Anyway, during one of his "escapes" James spotted the window. At that age, the backyard was a very special place, and this window let him spy out onto an endless land of fun.
While gazing at the backyard, he became aware of the glass. It seemed a strange substance, which was almost invisible, felt cold on cold days, hot on hot days, but didn't let in the wind or rain. Clear like water, the glass didn't move or get him wet.
James quickly learned about glass and windows. He could soon open the window, remove the screen and climb in and out of the window. With the window open he could toss things in and out. A secret part of the house became his, his alone. James' affinity with glass was born. Sadly, his curse was soon born too.
During those days, he was still not tall enough for a lot of things, so he needed a footstool, or something like a footstool to get what and where he wanted. Of all the things he used as a footstool, the Sears and Roebuck Catalogue was his favorite. It was nice and tall, and when he finished with it, he could look at all the wonderful stuff inside.
Well it wasn't long before James got his two favorite things together: his window and the catalogue. It seemed an excellent combination. The catalogue let him stand high and look further out the window, and the window gave him light to look at the catalogue. James remained happy for a while, until he began wondering. He'd watched small objects bounce off the window, and small objects go outside when the window was open. He decided to experiment.
The window was closed, so tried to bounce the catalogue off the glass. He balanced himself in the crib and lightly tossed it against the window. It bounced onto the bed. He then noticed the sun glittering off a long, crooked line in the glass. From all his toys and things, James understood about "broken" and quickly climbed out of the crib.
Hearing the noise, James' mother rushed into the room and immediately saw the cracked glass. "What happened to the window?" she asked.
As nonchalantly as possible he replied, "Ricky broke it. He took the book and broke the glass." James told the lie so casually and completely without guilt that somehow his mother let him get away with it.
As she silently wandered back towards the living room, James smiled proudly. He had learned two lessons that day. The first was that glass breaks and he would need to be careful, and the second was that little brothers are good for something.
Looking back on it now though, it is obvious it all started there. A single remorseless lie turned the world of glass against him and James has been in trouble ever since.
"Stand up now, the judge is about to rule," James heard his lawyer whisper to him.
"Yes, now stand up and look humble."
The judge looked at James, then at the prosecutor, and then back at James's lawyer. "Given the mitigating circumstances in this case, I am sentencing you to a one year probated sentence." The judge banged his gavel twice and turned to leave the room.
"I can't believe you got me off," James said, reaching so shake his lawyer's hand.
Then the courtroom seemed to suddenly go silent as James' sleeve caught on the pitcher of water. In slow motion, James saw the judge grimmace, then saw his lawyer wince as the pitcher fell off the table and crashed onto the floor.
"I don't care if you are my nephew," shouted the judge, "get your client out of here before I have him arrested for breaking parole. Hell, he's broken everything else!"
James quickly followed his lawyer out of the courtroom, lamenting the two lessons he learned so long ago.