A Table…And Its Implications
Updated: Jan 10
"A Table...And Its Implications"
We’re sitting at this table. It’s far too professional. You must know that I despise being contained to this one side.
I think you’re rambling about some kind of movie or political opinion, but honestly I’m not listening. I don’t really process what you’re saying because I’m too caught up looking at you. I notice the way you purse your lips together to make a word.
I like the little smile that you give when you recount an old story that I could know nothing about.
I don’t care about the story; all I care about is the happiness you feel for it that is manifested in your physical expression. You’ll smile and then realize that I probably have no interest in the story, so you’ll turn your head away quickly and stop talking, lowering your head to the table in a cutely awkward way, apologizing for “boring” me with your anecdote. Little do you know your funny little stories keep me alive.
I know the moment that specific story stops. Once you degrade your head to looking at the table, it’ll be a long time until you tell the next one. So, I wait. We now exchange polished sentences, saying everything and nothing at the exact same time.
Whereas your head crossed the dividing center of the table to engage me in a conversation when telling your story, now, you recline; you sit back down. Farther from me. The only way to advance, during these times in between, is for me to initiate some kind of forward moment, and God knows I won’t do that.
So, we both sit back, the only things on the table being our books, our pencils, and our hands, which are actively being pushed down on the surface of the table as they are forbid of any “improper” behavior. Instead of looking at one another, our eyes are focused downward, preventing me from seeing a smile.
This table is oddly professional, and the problem with professionalism is that there is no room for unprofessionalism. There is no room for realism, or vulnerability. The table calls for a separation between the two of us, focused on making us individuals rather than allowing us to connect and become one under the emotion of love.
When it’s time to leave the conversation, I am sad. I feel that I haven’t said enough or even that what I said wasn’t enough, wasn’t good, or wasn’t me.
I end the conversation in either of the two following ways: making it obvious that I want to know you more, prompting us to talk all the way from the opening of the door to the walking outside, or making it clear, over-exaggeratingly, that I don’t care at all about you.
I don’t know how to choose; it usually just comes to me in the moment, and once I start, it’s hard to change course. If I start out not caring, the switch to suddenly being affectionate is like a malfunction, like some weird deficiency in my personality that you probably don’t want to deal with if we ever had the audacity to pursue something.
That’s the point I am at now.
I am at that door; in fact, I have just reached for the handle.
And, unbeknownst to you, I am having this exact dilemma.
I don’t know if you can see my puzzled face; if you can see my tense expressions. I think you do, because before I am able to feel the cold metal in my hand, you stop me with the words to a new memory. In that moment, I can’t do anything but turn around.
We sit back down, but this time, you bring your chair over to mine, your hands lifted from the confines of the table and your attentive eyes staring right at me. The moment I see your mouth break into a chaotic, uncontrolled smile, I know we are saved. I know why it’s worth it to care. I know why I shouldn’t pretend with you. But most importantly, I know that I don’t need to.
This table doesn’t need to be that professional. In fact, our presence besides it makes it a pretty realistic, authentic piece of furniture that I’d like to buy sometime in the future.