The Flinch [EXPERIMENT] – The drop

Challenge #2 from The Flinch involved choosing a not-so-loved glass from the cabinet, marching it to a location at least four feet above a hard floor, and letting it drop. In other words, smash a glass on purpose, for no other reason than to complete the challenge and face the Flinch.

Interesting. I can do that, I thought.

I knew which glass I’d drop, but I didn’t know where to drop it. I figured if I dropped it on my apartment floor, it would make a huge mess. Unless I cleaned up every last pile of paper on the floor (yes, I’m one of those guys), I’d run the risk of missing some of the broken glass, which could lead to serious problems if I ever got some of it stuck in my foot.

Finally, on the way home from work, I realized that I could do it in the bathroom. It probably wasn’t the perfect place, but is there ever a perfect place to break glass on the ground inside?

The bathroom provided a clear floor to sweep afterward plus the added benefit of an enclosed space. I made the decision to do it that way.

As I grabbed the cup, though, everything changed. There’s a huge difference, at least there was for me, between thinking I’m going to drop a glass cup on the ground and actually getting that glass cup in my hand and realizing that I have to actually let go.

My mind’s screaming, This is stupid. There’s no point to this. You’re just going to break this thing for no reason.

Beyond that, I even worried for my safety. What if the glass shatters and cuts me? What if it hits me in the eye? What if I miss some of the pieces when I sweep and end up stepping on it one day? 

I started getting confused. On one hand, my mind’s saying this experiment is stupid and that I might hurt myself in the process. On the other hand, though, my mind’s saying all these concerns are stupid, that I should just drop the thing already.

I made it all the way to the bathroom, a whopping five-step journey. I raised the glass in front of me. I looked down.

I paused. I lowered the glass. How should I actually drop this thing? I wondered.

Then I just did it. I closed my eyes for protection, raised the glass with my arm extended, and then released it.

A moment of silence.

The glass took longer than I anticipated to hit the ground. When it did, I heard the initial sound of the glass ringing on the floor, like I’d just tipped it over on a hard surface without breaking it. And then in a separate moment, I heard the smash, followed by the sparkling sound of the tiny pieces bouncing and breaking against the ground and walls of the bathroom.

I opened my eyes. The glass had broken, that’s for sure.

Time to clean up.

And that’s when it hit me: it only takes a moment of courage to drop a glass, but many moments afterward to pick up the pieces.