Mugshots: Essays in neurosis and ritual

I know, Marc is salivating already.  (Well, he’s drooling, let’s put it that way.)

As noted elsewhere, I am at a standstill in my creative life.  Not only am I not working on anything, I have no impetus to work on anything.  It’s very curious.

This is despite the fact that I do have the percussion piece due sometime next month.  But am I fretting?  No, and that’s what worries me.

So, in order to grind out something just so I can make my brain/soul cry out in agony to stop it already I’ll work on the freakin’ percussion piece and the Five Easier Pieces and even oh god oh god oh god the symphony, I am forcing myself to write a series of posts on mugs in my kitchen cabinet.

Yes, you read that right.  Mugs. In. My. Kitchen. Cabinet. As it must appear to you, I am desperate.

A little background: one bare year ago, when I was still checking out books to kindergarteners and pretty much loving it, my morning routine would consist of having one cup of coffee while I answered emails, and then a second cup as I drove to school.  I would not have finished the second cup by the time I got to school, and so I would take it inside and finish it as I got into the morning.  The next morning, I would repeat with a different mug.

Eventually, after a week or two, I’d have more mugs at school than at home, so I’d bring a Tupperware® tub to school and bring them all back home, wash, rinse, repeat.

These mugs were collected over time and filled a shelf in the kitchen cabinets, stacked double.

However, when I started the job in Atlanta, I realized that juggling a mug of coffee up the Interstate was a rather different deal than tootling over to the Crossing, and so I switched over to my Lichtenbergian travel mug, which was safer and kept the coffee warm.

This left the other mugs stranded high and dry, and I didn’t often use them any more.  (There is a second shelf of hand-made mugs that I generally prefer to use on weekends—we’ll do a series on the neuroses involved there.)

And of course my lovely first wife asked why those mugs were taking up so much room if I were not going to use them.  Why not get rid of them?

The answer was, of course, that I couldn’t.  They weren’t random, they were collected, and each represented something.

But what? The question hangs in the air.

So now a series of essays in which I examine these mugs and try to explain why they still mean something to me.  I’m actually a fairly uninteresting person, neurosis-speaking-wise, but I’ll try to make it worth reading.

(Ironically, as I dragged out all the mugs on the shelf to take photos of them, I found that nearly half of them held no meaning whatsoever to me. Ha.)

4 thoughts on “Mugshots: Essays in neurosis and ritual

  1. Ok, I knew I was being an ass when I typed that, but it made me laugh so hard I couldn’t help myself.

    I actually do like this idea, and look forward to the posts, however.

  2. Okay, good idea, but you need an extra creative kickstart. Mix in a few fictitious mugs (a little photoshopping might be required) with made-up bios, etc. Readers have to guess which are real. Unless this is strictly an autobiographical exercise.

  3. That’s not a bad idea. Let me see if I can actually do a real one or two, then I’ll start inventing stuff.

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