Saturday, August 06, 2005
I have the "Cheval" one of these in cobalt blue. Looking at it reminds me of my aunt, because she had one. She used to wrap her hands around it, fingers tucked between the handle and the warm body of the mug, sitting at her kitchen table. She also had cranberry glass thumbprint goblets which were only for iced coffee. They were huge, a full pint at least. And the "Cheval" mug was also large, like her flat generous hands.
One winter in college when I only wanted to sleep through every class, or maybe just run away from school and show up on her doorstep, and she would open the door to me with no questions as to why I was there in the snow, I bought the "Cheval" Taylor and Ng mug. I thought having it on my desk, where I could wrap my fingers around its warmth, would convince me that I was happy at college, and that I should stay to fight out against the depression. I thought that having the mug, especially the "Cheval" mug, would inspire me to brew strong coffee in my illegal coffee maker to wrinkle me from bed so that I would attend one of my morning classes and not hide in bed until lunchtime, pretending to ignore the dormmates knocking on the door.
Twenty years later, fourteen years after my aunt's funeral, is it weird to suddenly want an entire set? La Vache, La Baleine, L'Escargot, Le Lapin, Le Chien, and Le Chat? I'm hungering for it. I keep searching eBay, disdaining the brown versions--clearly loyal to the cobalt--and am distressed when they sell for more than $10, because that seems high for a whim. But I have yet to bid on any. Why does having a set of them make the "Cheval" mug better?
Maybe I'm trying to hide its importance to me by assembling an entire cupboard barnyard for it to become lost in. "Oh, that old thing? I have a whole set of them."
Or maybe I'm trying to display it more obviously. "Here, I have a whole set of these generous mugs. You take the cat one. I started collecting these all because of my horse mug. More coffee?"
I haven't yet figured it out, but until I do, I'll keep searching eBay, like every other confused soul trying to ressurect a memory.