Table Two

 

 

‘Time and Space’ Neckwear (c)2022 Deborah McMenamy

 

The woman from the time machine is here. Hair wrapped in richly colored cloth. Light brown Maxi dress. Platform sandals. Writing on scraps of paper at table two in this urban cafe. I work here now. I live around the corner in a house with four studio apartments. When this woman appears, I am living in the smallest one, on the ground floor.

“Hyper-vigilance diminishes you as a person. Because you are always aware of what is happening ‘out there’ as opposed to ‘in here’,” she points to my chest. The overhead lighting seems almost too bright, like a blaring truth. The rings she wears are large; mirror balls throwing quick fragments against the walls.

The cafe is lit up like an art gallery. There are abstract paintings, the work of local artists who live in buildings with makeshift studios, apartments, the rooms of closed hotels. I like working here. I like my co-workers. The owner of the cafe is a gentleman who believes in community and art and good food. He favors the underdog and there are so many of us here.

The place is quiet today. I don’t say anything as I serve her salad. Bring her iced tea. A small plate of extra lemon. She gestures. Her large silver earrings make a faraway sound.

“Decompress first,” she says.

She is here from some more evolved time, I think, the flip side of chaos because I have slipped into a chasm. A crack in the wall of my life and have lost my way. ‘So much has happened’ has become my story. The mantra of my soul. And yet, I am open. Waiting. Each day brings the sense that something big is about to happen.

“Be careful if you use this prayer,” she says and presses a note to my palm. “It works.”

I do not pray. Not officially. Her long fingers close around my hand. There is a moment, a pause containing my entire life, before she gets up to leave. At the open door the breeze gathers up the edge of her dress. The sun is an egg in the sky, its warm glow spreads like butter across her face, her earrings glint and flash and she is gone.

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‘Table Two’ originally published in ‘At Love’s Altar’ 2020 Labello Press

Revised version (c) 2022 Deborah McMenamy

All rights reserved

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. You pack so much into so little. That is true craftmanship! Enjoyed immensely.

    1. Truly appreciate your lovely input and really glad you enjoyed it. Thank you so much Fiona.

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