The Missing Piece (Shel Silverstein)

A week ago, a friend asked if I’ve tried breaking up.  Yes, I have… five something years ago.  Back then, it felt crappy but I had to because Shel Silverstein found me.

He has a knack for finding librarians, you see, since the chance of us meeting in this universe of books is better than getting wet in the ocean.  This librarian he found tucked in her little corner of the world five something years ago.  She was unhappy.  He changed her.  Forever.

“The Missing Piece Meets the Big O” is the sequel to another Silverstein epic “The Missing Piece.”  It follows the story of the missing piece after it rolled away and left her.

The missing piece sat alone
waiting for someone
to come along
and take it somewhere.

It is the quest of the titular character the missing piece as she waits for the person with whom she perfectly fits.  (I, like Peacegal, identify the missing piece as a female.)  In her wait, she meets many wrong ones: those that “fit but could not roll,” those that “roll but did not fit,” one who “did not know anything about fitting,” one who “did not know anything about anything.”

At times, it seems both hilarious and scary how the ones that stumble upon the missing piece are like some ones that stumbled upon yours truly.  There’s one that “put it on a pedestal and left it there.”  There’s the one that has “too many pieces missing” and that one that has “too many pieces, period.”  And yes, like the missing piece, there are those creepy “hungry ones.”

If there is one story I read over and over again, even in my head, it has to be this.  Yes, I have read it years ago, and yes it is a children’s story.  And yes, it can be read in less than five minutes.  But the impact it left on me is unmistakable and so deep I could say this is the reason I am who I am.  I share the feelings of Dimitris Hall:

“Some books just meet your life like passing comets. You can’t possibly predict their coming or the respective impact they’re going to have on you, but there they go, shooting across the night-sky of your life. Spectacularly… It’s almost as if they become so important for you precisely because they come out of nowhere.”

So…  I’m not blaming Shel Silverstein but that’s why I had to leave.


Note: I got my copy of “The Missing Piece Meets the Big O” from Fully Booked for P680.

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