My brother and I used to fight all the time when we were kids.
It was usually over something stupid like what we were going to watch on our one TV. I was a big fan of The Brady Bunch and General Hospital (this was way back in the Luke and Laura days). Or who’s turn it was to play on whatever video gaming system we had at the time. Colecovision, anyone?
Things usually turned violent. Punches were thrown. Someone was tossed into a wall.
And then it would happen.
The peace pipes mounted on a little wooden frame over the basement door would fall and break.
They weren’t real peace pipes. At the time, our house was decorated in a style known as colonial. The peace pipes were long and white and made out of some kind of fragile ceramic material. They were arranged in an X with the heads of the pipes at opposite ends of the wooden frame.
The crash always ended the fight.
My brother would run to get the Scotch tape and superglue. I’d start putting the broken pieces back together. We worked as a team as we raced to get the pipes glued back together and back up on the wall before my mother came home.
Ironically, it was like that Brady Bunch episode where the boys break Carol’s vase with a basketball. Mom always said don’t play ball in the house.
By the time we were too old to be fighting like that, the peace pipes were in sharp white shards that were held together by tape, luck and sheer will.
Another crash or two, and they would be too broken to put back together.
Luckily, we had stopped fighting by then.
These days, I’m those peace pipes. I’ve fallen too many times to count. I’m in a hundred pieces.
And I worry that the day will come when I’ll be unable to piece myself back together.