When you consider the material possessions of sixteen years of marriage you have to make a decision about what to take and what to leave. The personal stuff is easy. These are the things that were never his — your clothes, your books, your music.
Then there are the things that you want to be new, fresh and untainted by the past. The most important one is the bed.
But the practical things, the everyday things, you decide to leave them behind and wonder if they are even necessary.
Like the toaster.
In your new single life you make toast by putting bread under the griller. You can’t just walk away and leave it. You have to stand over the bread, making sure it doesn’t burn.
It burns often, setting off the smoke detector. Windows open, fanning the smoke out into the morning air.
The man you move in with brings the toaster from his old life. It is worn out and tired, like the marriage it came from, and soon the elements stop working one by one.
You can make toast one slice at a time or go back to the griller. The man who stands watching over the bread pays more attention than you do and it doesn’t burn.
After a couple of years the man discovers the ultimate toaster in the kitchen at his office. It is the Rolls Royce of toasters — four wide slots, gentle action and brushed aluminium. He orders one online.
Today, the new toaster will arrive. It’s his toaster, but he’ll let you use it. You can’t wait.