Split Personality

Paper dollsImagine growing up knowing that somebody created you for one single purpose: Destruction. Number 1156 off the assembly line, carefully moulded from steel and plastic, designed to be a weapon. To slice things into as many pieces as I’m told. To stab and tear apart something that was once put together with precision, just like me.

How would you handle the sadness? The guilt? The utter waste left behind for nothing. Left to be thrown away. Maybe recycled to be made into something new, something useful. But probably not.

I remember the first time I cut. We were just coming out of a scorching summer, and the leaves were taking longer than usual to change colour. Kids were playing in small piles of those that fell. A happy time. I was hopeful. Brand new and full of self-wonder.

Then the shredding started. I was forced to rip through the ends of a pair of freshly unpackaged curtains. The remnants flapping in the wake of my destruction, and with every calculated slice, trailing slowly further to the floor.

And then it was done. As quickly as I started my task, I finished. Something that once was part of something else, a greater purpose, now empty and lifeless on the cold ground.

Some days I just don’t bother. I sit wide legged and stare into oblivion. I consider the perfectly whole pieces of paper on the desk and all I can do is wonder when their time will come. When will this human be done with this former fragment of a tree? When will they use me for the scissors I am?

On days like these, I fight.

You know when you’re halfway through cutting and all of a sudden the scissors stick, or it becomes stiffer to snip? That’s me. That’s me saying no. That’s me fighting back.

You thought it was your fingers acting up. Or you lost your grip. You’ll blame your arthritis or your double jointed thumb. But it’s me. I’m making this hard.

Stop fighting me and put me down!

Other days I feel hopeful. That the job I’m doing is sending this piece of paper back to fulfill more with its existence. And that’s the least I can do. If I’m not meant for greater things because I’m not recyclable or biodegradable then maybe this piece of paper is. And I should do all I can to help it on its destiny-filled way.

A scissors with a split personality. Poetic, right?

Oh, to be recyclable.

If you knew me, you’d probably call me a manic depressive set of scissors. Or a bipolar pair. Then you’d call yourself crazy for thinking such foolishness. Snap out of it!

I know what I’d do if I had the choice. Do you want to know?

I’d be scissors made of more.

Don’t get me wrong. I like my body. I like my form and shape and sharp edges. I’m not getting down on my looks.

But what if instead of being a tool for ending what was, I could be the tool you reach for to put things back together. A peace-keeping scissors, if you will. By holding me in your hand, you have the power to mend.

I haven’t figured out just how I would function as a peace-keeping scissors yet. But I bet if someone found a way to make me, I’d be great at it. I’d be a pro.

Then people would say that I was made for this job.

Not the other thing.

You don’t have to melt me down or take me apart. Just repurpose me.


I can be so much more.

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