The Table

I have not posted any fiction on my site for quite some time, I find that working with words for a living means my creative writing takes a beating. For those who haven’t read that far back in my archives, I have several WIPs that I have posted up over the past couple of years.

I like to write.

This blog was started way back when with the intention of sharing my writing and random thoughts, and kind of turned into my running and life blog this year. Today I thought I would share a short bit I wrote recently for a writing exercise, after seeing a table with pretty designs in it. It’s not done, but I wanted to get it down before I forgot it, and once I cleaned it up, I rather liked it.


The Table

She loved to dance on the tables. She would hop from one to the other, a fiesta of fluid movements punctuated by the tossing of her hair. It wasn’t raunchy, or seedy, it just was. Her tips would be doubled, drink would flow, and never was he worried she would fall. Small feet would step lightly across, between beer glasses and plates of chicken wings, never once missing a step. A strong, whisky-inspired voice would echo, staccato through the whistles and claps.

It was a tradition, long started by his own family, long before he was the man wiping the counter-top and polishing the myriad of faceted glass on the shelf. All the girls danced and sang for fun on busy nights, but she was the best. She was the one he stopped to watch. She was the one who made him want for love, ache for something more.

He could see her as a gypsy dancer, with coins and bells, chiming delightfully above the music, scarlet red fabrics, bright embroidered patterns. She would look so good in jewels and silks, her dark hair and bright eyes a perfect match. He could imagine her high cheeks coloured just pink, the flickering light of a campfire playing shadows across her face. Why he thought of caravans and magic, he never knew. Perhaps it was more exotic than a simple oak-polished bar in a city. Somewhere caution could be put to rest, and emotion was necessary to live. Where he could be free of the constraints of society in order to have whatever he wanted. Her.

He would sit with her at his mother’s old dining room table, in the back room, and they would tally up the receipts each night after close. She always stayed, she lived closest to work, the unsaid agreement simply started years before. The wrought iron set into the top of the wood table, curled mysteries and stories about his family, some he knew, others he imagined. Once, before she died, he had asked his mother why she kept such an old, beat up table in the back of their bar, and she had drawn her fingers around the swirls and curves of the iron with a distant look to her eye. She had stopped, frowned, looked at her son and said, in her thick, almost too foreign accent, “I just did. Is good table.”

He couldn’t bear to replace it, especiallynow, when she would sit with him, run her own fingers around the same pattern his mother did, and exclaim how much she loved the artistry.

One corner of the iron pattern was slightly lifted, polished to a sheen from passing shirtsleeves, and years of paper sliding across the surface. The staff would run their hands over the bump, almost as a tradition, on their way through to the bar. It was simply “Mama’s Table” to most of them. It was a link to his past, a time capsule of when his family was different. Bigger, alive. Now, it was just him, the bar, and this table.

She always sat on the side with the bump, and as she did the math on the old calculator, she would absently rub the raised metal with her hand, her brow furrowed. He would stop, watch her, pulled in again by a simple movement. How could she transfix him with a dance, or a hand gesture? Just as her dance, he could imagine her sitting, a book in her hands, rings flashing in the watery sunlight of morning, her long hair dancing in a slight Spring breeze. It was always the small details he would imagine, never the full picture of her. Always the details. Like he was memorizing another life yet to be, so if it happened, he would know what it meant.


2 thoughts on “The Table

  1. Amber January 18, 2013 / 11:36 pm

    I love the way you paint a picture using words. 🙂

    • Sabby January 19, 2013 / 9:42 am

      Thank you. 🙂 I miss “painting” and hope, with my daughter finally not being so dependent on me, I can get some of that time back.

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