Table Talk

Table Talk


he doesn’t talk at the table

except to answer a question

as briefly as possible

once he asked for a condiment

he eats


I am a chatterer

I like to talk about

the news

the weather

my garden

his week at work


nothing interferes with the

the work of eating

he eats with focus

while for me food

is part of the occasion

not the only thing


the lesson I need to learn

is to do one thing at a time

distractions are a part of the process for me

writing in silence 

is a discipline I’m developing

so the focus is on the words

not the rhythm of the keys

not what’s for supper 


I’ve nearly always watched TV while having supper – this goes back to childhood with either a TV in the kitchen or those folding metal TV tables in the living room. In my house now the TV is on a wheeled table that can be turned around to face the dining-room table. Conversation isn’t needed with the TV to watch. Eating in restaurants is a different setting & calls for different behaviour, one in which chatter was mandatory. In fact I’ve opted not to eat in places that have too many TV for patrons.

When I have guests for dinner the TV is usually tuned to one of the cable music channels for background music which allows for chit-chat without being distracting. Usually my visitors are fairly chatty while we eat but there is one guy who is silent. Even luring him to talk about recent events is a challenge. In fact most of the time he isn’t much of a conversationalist. Nearly everything I’ve learned about him has been in response to my questions.

I know, to a degree, this is a cultural silence – it is how he grew up. Like all the men I enjoy he is sweet tempered, sober, passionate when the time is right & always has a hearty appetite for whatever we’re having for dinner & for our intimate time after supper. He speaks volumes with his hands.

By the end this becomes another piece about focus. Growing doing my homework with the radio, then stereo. I rarely work in silence. I like silence but sometimes the search for the right music takes over, time gets frittered with the endless need for new. How many versions of MacArthur’s Park are there? What I’m writing can wait until I’ve found them all. 

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee – sweet,eh? 

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