When I was little, I had a love-hate relationship with a spoon. There was nothing extraordinary about this spoon. It was long, skinny and wooden, about a pencil and half in length. I named it Nelson, for what else should a spoon be named? I loved Nelson because he was my best friend and permanent companion on every voyage I embarked upon. I hated him because often times I returned from said voyage dirty, late, or with an attitude. Nelson was the devise in which Ma would use to plaster my behind. Every time she cocked her arm back with Nelson in tow I felt slightly betrayed. Yet, I held no grudges against him. The moment the drubbing had ceased and Nelson was laid to the ground I snatched him up and was again out the door. Nelson was the perfect instrument for my fertile imagination. His talents ranged from an accurate mudslinger to a lethal dagger.
One particular day in April, the sky opened up and dropped three feet of snow on my little house. I woke up early that morning and Nelson again proved his worth as we shoveled beneath the frozen tundra in a maze of snaking tunnels. We trekked blindly through the trees, blazing a path no one could ever hope to recreate. We hid inside the winter wasteland and set up camp for the long haul. When I finally returned from my arctic expedition the sky had turned a deep purple and Ma was waiting. I was late. That evening while I was being beaten, something I thought to be impossible happened. Nelson broke. He shattered into four uneven pieces that crashed to the floor with the weight of a freight train. I felt the swell of emotion in my chest as I stared in disbelief at the sight. I sank to my knees and scooped the pieces of my fallen hero into my arms. I let out a sadistic laugh and stuck my tongue out at Ma. I then quickly fled the scene.
I buried Nelson behind The Fort, our elm tree. It was a somber service attended only by me, my beagle and the blue jay that frequents the kitchen window. I read two pages from Laura Ingalls Wilder's "The Long Winter" because I always thought it would have been Nelson's favorite book had he been able to read. As I walked into the house, I decided it would be a good thing to move on. It was time to let go. Imagine both my delight and fear when I returned to my room to find a brand new stainless steel serving spoon placed upon my pillow. It had a little pink bow tied around its neck.
Stephen Connolly is a 21 year old college student from Boston. He attends Quinnipiac University where he is a journalism major. His play Flicker debuted in 2004 at the Young Playwrights Festival at the Beaver Country Day School. In addition to a series of short stories based on his life, Stephen has written a one act play and is converting it to a screen play.