Saturday, December 09, 2006

alone at the table

You and I are at the table at the restaurant when the new girl calls you.

"I'm sorry. I've got to take this - you know, to make plans."

I listen to you ask polite questions about her week. I push my food around my plate. Take another bite.

"Sounds like you had a pretty good time. What time did you get home?"

He pauses, smiling, looking at me absently.

"Oh", he laughs. "So your cats were getting you back?"

'Cats', I mouthed at him, eyebrows raised. I couldn't help myself.

'Stop', he mouthed back in mock anger, shoving me lightly at the shoulder.

I smiled at our private joke but then realized he'd moved on with the conversation and I was alone at the table again.

I looked out the window at the families and their dogs and the Saturday afternoon traffic.


Tired Dad said...

Right. You. At the risk of starting some sort of dreadful Mutual Appreciation Society, I really must insist that you stop being quite so superb.

Some of us have to try quite hard at this writing stuff.

I know I've mentioned Carver before, but this sort of 'less-is-more' approach to language is terribly effective.

And we've all been in that restaurant, in one way or another. But I suspect few of us have been able to articulate the bitter-sweetness of the situation as well as you.

Stop it.

Rachel said...

Hey TD - thanks so much.

Carver really was a genius. Trying to keep it simple is the hardest thing for me and most of the time I miss the mark, but it sure feels good when I boil it down and it works. I wasn't sure about this one but I thank you for telling me you thought it did.

Lx said...

carver was indeed good.
but definitely solid-good.

Rachel said...

Whatever you want to call it. Anyone would be lucky to have some of 'it'.