These iron model cannons are a thing in my dad’s family. My uncle has one, too. This one used to sit on the tile beside the gas fireplace in the living room of the house I grew up in.

Who would want a model of a giant gun as a tchotchke?

From this item I am learning preciousness can be a sort of loathing, even dread.

Its incredibly solid and seemingly well crafted.

It plays a part in my earliest memories. Initially I perceived it as a sort of toy, a heavy toy. I liked the clink sound the iron made on the tile. I liked that it had wheels that squeaked.

And it’s an explicit celebration of colonialism

When I learned what it was–what it did–I felt internal conflict between its inherent violence and my affection for it. The uncomfortable experience of feeling distaste for something I’d once so innocently enjoyed is still imbued in its iron and copper bits.

Was there once an model cannon factory…? There’s gazillions of them on ebay and etsy.

This cannon is heavy but its particular preciousness makes it weigh even more. Now I know life is full of intriguing shiny toys that turn out to be someone else’s misguided notion of importance or value. As the years pass, I get better at processing the disappointment and even carrying the lesson forward. Although I’m sure I’ll be duped again.

There’s no guarantee it won’t be recycled into another useless and disturbing item but it seems the best option when compared to donating or selling it.

2 responses to “Cannon”

  1. I loved reading all of these! You are such a gifted writer Mela. I’m so happy you kept a couple pieces of the drift wood. That post really warmed my heart.

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