Spa Girl, by Karal.

Spa Girl is one of my favorite mugs. I inherited her from a dear friend in Hollywood and spent many chilly mornings before dawn curled up with her under blankets on the cozy patio of our Southern Cali cottage. Me holding Spa Girl, her holding hot, freshly brewed coffee, listening to the soothing sounds of the hills around us as the city slowly came to life below.

I dig the self-pampered chick on the mug because she seems to be digging herself. She seems to honor herself. Know. Respect. Honor. Herself. She lounges in her plush white bathrobe with her newly painted nails, unwittingly epitomizing that oft repeated but not oft followed Shakespearean phrase, To thine own self be true. I dig her even if she is a little imperfect.

Poor Spa Girl wasn’t always handleless. She lost her grip the morning I exchanged our sun-warmed brick patio for a bare, cold, concrete slab of a porch. Like breaking a promise made silently to the self, there was very little tangible warning of her impending collapse. A barely audible crack, a slight shift in balance, a feeling that something once whole was now incomplete.

Spa Girl slipped from my grasp and tumbled to the ground, hot coffee cascading from her open mouth in slow motion as she fell, spewing an arrow-straight line of dark brown liquid across the porch, up the window, splattering her staining spray on the surrounding walls.

When it was over, Spa Girl lay broken and motionless, drowning in the pool of lukewarm coffee spreading at my feet, the handle of the mug still clenched within my fingers. Relinquishing my hold, remnants of the severed ceramic form crumbled into chalk-like dust.