Table Turns

The young Hindi couple love deeply. They are unaware of me and wouldn’t care in any case; even, I suppose, if I stood and mocked their impetuous infatuation or their daylight groping.

They share one chair. They are alone in this universe. The dark girl glances furtively around, she feels the hand of her lover under her sweater and knows she should be embarrassed but she can’t think to be.

The table changes occupants.

An older couple take the place of the lovers. They talk quickly and awkwardly about their house keeping habits. She has a voice on the doorsill of shrill. They are getting to know one another and I wish they would have done this some other place. Now they talk of fabric and car interiors.

He wonders about the years ahead as he listens to this nervous nasal voice prattle on about how bad she is at curling. He weighs his LASunsetloneliness against this future and stays on. And now he finds himself encouraging a conversation about the length of shirt sleeves. She listens with the side of her face and questions her own investment.

The whole thing rises in volume and inanity and I prepare to leave. Yet…I know these two have a story, have felt passion, have cried during a sunrise and a birth, have felt the human predicament of death and loss. They too long for happiness. And they know something the young lovers don’t–they know about a heart in conflict with itself.

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