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  • I think about these two coffee mugs frequently. You see, while you might have cups that match your plates, or tell about places you have visited, these mugs are from my two ex-wives. In some ways, these mugs are all I have left from those relationships. One day, my shaky morning hand will slip, and one of these will fall and shatter on the floor. Or another might jump out of a towel while I'm drying it, smashing in four large pieces and a few slivers in the sink. And that will be all. The possessions in my life that echo my past will be one less in number.

    When you go through relationships like I have, ending them dramatically, in a mess of moving, affairs, children and damage, you don't have much of the tangiable stuff from that past with you to carry forward. I have lost houses, books, furnature, cars, love, pots, history, friends, springtime, years, birthdays, clothes, pets. I have gained very little on my own to balance this scale.

    So these mugs are more than things to me. They are Sunday morning reading the New York Times. They are years when I did not have to work and we lived off one income. They are a time when I first saw a Miro painting in Houston, and pressed my left hand against it, gentle, while no one was looking. They are a man who was once known as the mayor of the west side, who lived on Commerce St. and ran a print shop, and spoke to every Hispanic political candidate to run for local office and whom I never met. And soon, they will just not be that anymore.

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