• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 12

A New Hope

Nostalgia is a fickle thing – pulling at the edges of the plastic, pooling in ceramic. Rose-tinted tea offsetting the taste of spoiled milk. Childhood condensed – contained – in a single mug.

My earliest memories can be separated into DVD cases: Pixar for the sick days, Disney for the sleepovers. Some films demand to be shared, with curtains pinched shut, the popcorn bowl enduring shared custody – my lap for the funny bits, Mum’s lap for the sad bits – a customary drink break forty-five minutes through.

The mugs come later; Christmas days, birthdays, ‘I saw this and thought of you’ days. They don’t stack well with the other cupboard cups, too animated to get along with the fine china. Too many wonky eyes and awkward angles. So, they get relegated to the back of the shelf, buried deep behind the mugs we offer our guests.

Over the years, the gifted mugs watch from the wings as the front row are cast time and time again. They play their parts well. They’re made for this role, of course – made to endure the chips and cracks, the constant changes in temperature. The gifts are made to gather dust, to hold pens and pennies.

And yet, every so often, when all the teacups are in the dishwasher – when the curtains are pinched shut and the guests have gone home – the nostalgia peers though with all the wonky eyes and awkward angles of childhood. After a long soak, they’re fit for purpose again, if only for the one night.

We’re watching A New Hope.