"don't cry over spilled milk" is merely a saying meaning "if it's over and done with, you can't affect it any more, so why worry? there's nothing that can be done." no amount of tears will bring the milk back into the glass. likewise, if you can't change something, why bother what-iffing? (if only this was as easily said as done.)

the origins of this saying are unclear. however, it most likely sprang from fairy lore. it was thought, to attract fairies to a house, OR appease the resident sprites, laying out a "shrine" with food for the beings. fairy favorite foods include wine, bread, fruit and honey, but their absolute favorite is cold creamy milk. so whenever milk was spilled, it was considered an offering to the fairies and its loss was discounted. normally the wasting of food was strongly frowned upon because of the difficult in feeding a family. but the wastage of milk was always overlooked as an offering. if the person spilling the milk was reprimanded, the scolder was seen as unwilling to give this gift, and let it be given only grudgingly. this was thought to anger the fairies and bring bad luck upon the house.

Oh, yes. I know. It's not as if I have never seen it before. After all these years, I have seen plenty of wonderful things go to waste. Paintings ruined out of spite, musical instruments tossed out of windows, it's impossible to count. But this, this is a sight that still gets me. On certain evenings, that special someone will attract my attention. And when they do, it's so sad to see them go to waste. To let such precious fluid just go .

Last night, for example. This young woman at a gas station. 2 am and such a quiet spot. Even behind the counter I could catch her scent. Ivory soap, L'air du temps and Mini-thins. Bright blue eyes and short dark hair. Skin pale, almost translucent under the florescent lights. An angel. I walked by once, got a bottle of water from the cooler, and came back to watch her wait on customers. Downwind. The veins on her neck like small creeks running into a river. Quiet movement.

And then, as she reached down to cut open a box of cigarettes, she winced, and I knew-instantly . I gripped the side of the snack aisle so not to lose my balance as I watched the cut bloom into a gash. A papertowel could not hold it all. It soaked up in seconds-burgundy. Her manager called a stockboy from the back to run her to the hospital, and just like that- she was gone. Leaving behind only that amber spill and my blank stare.

What's it like, you ask? Let's see-pretend you are outside on a hot summer day-covered in sweat from labor, someone is walking towards you with a pitcher of water, you can hear the ice clinking and see the sweat on the outside of the glass-then the person bringing it trips-and the glass shatters. Pretend you order fresh strawberries, and the waiter brings them to your table-bright red on crushed ice. Quickly he slices them into quarters then drizzles chocolate over the top. But he looks away for a moment and a nearby diner, thinking it is a bus tray, dumps his half eaten goulash on it.

Yes. It's like that. But worse.

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