So it has come to this. This smelly garbage dump. Where did it all go wrong for me? I had so much hope and promise. Now, I am just yesterday's garbage.
I remember when I was just cotton and thread, not really anything. I had no form, no purpose, no direction as I moved along the conveyor belt of life. It wasn't long though, before I became something - an oven mitt. And a very pretty oven mitt. I was sure to be liked and cherished.
Life started out with such promise. I was fresh. I was fluffy. Every stitch was exactly right. I had my place, with all the other oven mitts on display in the store, neatly stacked on the shelf, ready to be bought and put into action. I had high hopes at that point. I knew I was wanted, in demand. I was not going to be marked down. No, I was definitely all that.
I never realized what it meant to be an oven mitt, but I knew that I was going to be the best oven mitt I could be. I was sure of that.
One day, a nice young couple looked me over and they ended up choosing me. They put me in a nice colorful bag and I was on my way to my new home. When we arrived, they played with me, tried me on and then showed me to my room - my new living quarters. Life seemed to be falling into place for me.
Sure, it was a small dark drawer. I was used to the bright open spaces of the store, but I had some experience with dark closed-off spaces. I remember being in that horrid cardboard box, tightly pressed against all the other oven mitts during distribution. That oven mitt Harry... he never shut up for the whole trip. I was so happy when he got sold at the store. Hated that guy.
As I lay in the drawer life was good. I was content.
As the days went by, I got to come out at the odd time. Sometimes, there was a warm handle that a hand needed protecting from. I was glad to help. That was my purpose in life. And I was loved. Still young, fresh, and in all my glory.
Then, about two weeks after they took me home, came that day I will never forget. My whole world, my illusions, were shattered. Oh... the pain. That first time, when the hand slides inside you and you grab onto that hot sheet of fries just coming out of the oven.
"Oh, that fucking hurts!"
You never forget that, no matter how many times you go into battle.
I grew to know when it was coming. I had developed a sense of smell. Yes, oven mitts can smell. And feel. We hurt just like the rest of you. The aroma of fries, or of just baked bread or cookies - I came to associate that with the pain. I crouched in fear every time I took in that air heavy with the scent.
I have lived with that fear. Everyday, every minute, I feel it. Whenever, I overhear that the owner of the house is going to make fries. Or a stir fry. Those are the worst times - the worry and the waiting. The knowing that at any second I could be called to duty to face that intense heat. The pan is always sizzling hot.
I longed for the times when they would go out to eat or when they were at work. I knew I was safe until that front door opened again. As soon as they arrived, until the time they left, my fear continued.
The times when they went out, or would o on vacation, those were the best times. Then, I knew I was truly safe. Safe and sound in my little drawer - my home. The third drawer from the top, where it is quiet and peaceful.
I always wished I could do something about it. But what could I have done? After all, a plain old oven mitt is helpless to fight against fate. My fate... my destiny. But, freedom is what I longed for.
Freedom, ahhh... Yes, freedom - like being left out on the counter for a few days. It was as if I were on vacation and lying on the beach. Daylight, but yet no work.
But, now I am older. I have been burned many times. My young fresh stitching is all gone. I have been through the washing machine a few times. My once fluffy exterior is now matted down and I am no longer appreciated as I once was. Often times they would just toss me in the drawer. They used to place me nicely.
I have even developed a burn hole at the end near where their fingers go. Deep down, I knew that it wouldn't be long before I was on my way out. I can't do the job I was born to do anymore. And I don't really want to do it either. I have had enough. I knew they were going to put me out of my misery and I was kind of hoping for it.
At the end of the day, they never really loved me. That hurts.
Yes, I burn. I feel.
I feel the pain.
So, finally, it has come to this. This smelly garbage dump. Where did it all go wrong for me? I had so much hope and promise. Now, I am just yesterday's garbage.