Thursday, July 17, 2014

the life of a lamp

The other day, Andrew was particularly clumsy*. He knocked over a number of things, from my water bottle to a stack of books...and also a lamp. This particular lamp has been sitting on the same table in the same place for nearly 8 years, and this was the first time either of the cats had ever knocked it over, despite plenty of behind-the-couch escapades.

The lamp is special for two main reasons. One: it's made out of my first clarinet. Two: my mother made it for me.

This Artley brand clarinet (made of resin) belonged to one of my grandma's friend's daughters before it became mine, for a mere $60, when I was in fourth or fifth grade. It served me well and faithfully until my senior year of high school, when someone stepped on it during a basketball game at which the pep band was playing. The plastic broke just below the middle joint.

Luckily I already had my professional (wood) clarinets by then, and I was able to get by until the end of the spring marching season with some other instrument. In the meantime, the broken Artley sat in the case.

In a pawn shop, I'd seen an all-metal clarinet, and the shop owner had (jokingly?) mentioned that they're really only suitable for lamps.

And in my mom's mind, the clarinet lamp was born.

I'm not sure how much other family members had to do with this, but...the broken piece was glued, a base was constructed, a cord threaded, a lightbulb attached, a lampshade purchased. It's basically the perfect lamp--tall and thin, classy and bright, all at the same time.

Plus, it's mine.

And Andrew knocked it over, and that old break re-broke.

The clarinet lamp sat on my couch, in two pieces, along with my heart.

And then I went to the store, picked up some Krazy Glue (did you know you need to show ID proving you are over 18 in order to buy Krazy Glue?), and came home to put the lamp and my mom-memories back together.

It was a relatively easy fix, unlike so many other parts of life. And now the clarinet stands again, lighting the living room with memories of love.

If only the washing machine could be fixed/replaced so easily.

*no matter how much he may have deserved it, no cats were harmed, other than by my very loud and anguished yelling.*

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