Shattered plate, shattered dreams. Foot in dress shoe raises up and smashes down right on top of napkin covered plate – Mazel tov! Weddings and luck and traditions. The colors in the room are white and dark blue. And maybe lavender. Herbs growing up from dead grass, characters from movies and books. Barnes and Noble contentment. The smell of a new book. Plate. Primary setting. Fork on the left, knife on the right. Knight in shining armor, gleaming metallic excellence. Hoping it doesn’t move, but wishing it would. It feels cold to the touch. A meal will touch down upon that plate, smelling good. Like the promise of satiation. Chicken and rice and vegetable. Or pasta with bolognese sauce. Or anything, really. It is warm. The steam melts the cold from your heart and soul. Holder of sacred meal. Dinner table as sacred circle. I will paint the stained glass windows to represent this moment. Pinegrove and evergreen trees and Christmas morning. The forgiveness of sins and birth of something new in winter. Saturnalia. Roman holiday. Audrey Hepburn. Kate Mulgrew. Powerful women. Who could take that plate and launch it like a frisbee to be cute, to be lethal. Plates as two cymbals, shattering on impact. Hardened egg yolk from a sunny-side up egg. I can still smell the bacon sizzle, now sitting cold on the counter. That diner smell. It is a drug, intoxicating. Salt and fat and carb, coming together as emotional cure-all – until I step on the scale. They say to slay your dragons, but that is one I don’t think will ever be dead, one I constantly work on. Ceramic, paper, and plastic plates. China. Is it a party? Is it a holiday? Is it just dinner? Should we remove this setting? Who has called and cancelled? Did we miss a setting? Where do I add one more? Inclusion, forgetfulness. Let’s wash the remains. Load up the broken dishwasher and hope it goes. 3D heated cube that works magic wonders. What sucks is the unloading part, the work that goes in afterwards. I hear the hum of its rumbling, the swishing of water and soap. Again, feel the steam after its complete. I warm my hands and face. The only incentive of putting everything away. I usually start with the plates. Bottom rack.