That’s How He Lost His Marbles
Four of them, or may be it was six. They played in front of the water tank where there were just enough potholes of just the right size. One of them won more than the others. A handful of marbles multiplied into a jarful. But marble season was over. Over for a long time; they grew out of it. And the jar stood on the shelf on the wall. It stood there in all its glory, glimmering in the sunshine, standing out among old dusty books and plastic boxes full of rusty nuts and bolts. Each marble was a metaphor for experiences, for each of several rich and full summer days.
Until it was time for someone else to grow into it. Someone who watched from the sidelines. Who knew about the jar. He had a head-start, he thought. He tried to get in on the game. He wanted to win. Go from jar to jars. How hard could it be? Lose two today, but win four tomorrow, right? Wasn’t to be. Lost two today, lost four the next. By the time marble season ended, the jar was reduced to a handful. And on the last day, he returned empty-handed. And the empty jar was filled with rusty nuts and bolts.
It’s been several summers since the jar went empty. And as he looks back at how he could have saved some of those marbles, he wonders – did he really need to win to have them? He thinks he can just buy them. As many as he likes. Then why doesn’t he? Because marbles are still a metaphor for each of several rich and full summer days.