it was the best of times... it was the worst of times. the renovations are winding down...tempers are revving up. Beloved and i have reached the point where we both want things to be done...now. our snarling has settled around a kitchen table. literally.
among other things, i have brought two tables into my Beloved's life. there's a certain similarity between these two tables - both have sturdy legs, impervious tops. the first, which we eat off of every day, Beloved has coveted from the moment the nice men from jc penney carried it into my condo in farmington. it has a blue tile top and gold oak finish. i brought it with me when i moved into pond house from farmington, and Beloved has rejoiced in its presence in his life ever since. he even calls it my dowry.
the second table came from my grandmother's house at the shore. sturdy, with legs like two by fours, and a metal top strong enough to stand on, it bears, in layers like old paint, a good portion of my memories.
i learned to play pinochle at that table. my great-grandfather presided over sunday dinner predictably as the sun rose and set at that table. i learned of births and deaths and marriages at that table. at it, i ate all the favorite foods of my childhood. the touch of the slick surface, the aroma released by the old drawers conjures the ghosts of wards' cookies and clint's fried chicken chased by a cold coke in a green bottle at the back of my tongue.
in Beloved's eyes it is ugly, old and worn.
in mine, it is history given weight and substance and form.
someday, i would like to teach baby jake to play pinochle. someday, i would like to tell him of his great-great-great grandfather, who ran away from home in italy when he was only 13, and stowed away aboard a steamship bound for new york city. someday i would like him to know his roots are sturdy, and strong enough to carry him anywhere he wishes.
and furthermore, the war must end. blessed be.