Monday, August 26, 2013

Side by side at Gloria's

The round table, the one with strongest natural light, made a snug refuge that morning.  Though it meant they had to turn their heads to see each other, the trio chose to sit close together, for the table was roomy enough, easily, for six or eight and they didn't want to feel so separated, so soon.  They sat on the interior edge and could see muted reflections in the fog-backed window.  Before midday  Mr. Guscott would be lifting above the valley and shore, flying toward what he hoped would be the known and the surprising in equal measure.

Mr. Apotienne, whose emotions he had come to regard as far-flung, or far-flinging, settled into his state of anticipated loss with the appetite of a stevedore.  He gave an instant of thought to the way food made a brilliant though temporary pain reliever and dove into his spinach and sauteed mushroom omelette as one might train for an Olympic event.   As much as he enjoyed butter in the years of his life before Billington's Cove and Gloria's cooking, he was now in a state of continual seduction/surrender to any food in which the taste of butter could be found.  He chuckled to himself, turned to smile at his companions, and just said, "Butter."  They nodded, sharing his pleasure.

It felt like sitting at the counter in a diner, the way Mr. Apotienne, the soon to depart Mr. Guscott in the middle, and Gloria had arranged themselves.  True, they were not in an absolutely straight line but almost shoulder to shoulder, elbows touching gently from time to time, not with enough vigor to spill anyone's tea.  Each held a notion of quiet wonder at the patterns that had etched so quickly into their days, at the connections forged with not all that many words exchanged, unless you tried to count Noel Coward, which was not a conversation by anyone's definition.  Still, it was communication.


Lisa H said...

Perfect description of the warmth and closeness of friends at the table.

Sometimes I'll see a couple in a cafe, so comfortable with each other that they seem to be communicating with no words at all. I've heard people casually comment that they find it so sad to see people who don't seem to have anything left to say to each other.....
I always smile and nod while thinking:
"...yes, and SOME people are lucky enough to skip the words...."
YOUR words, MLK, are different. I wish I had you on audio tape. I wish that your readers could hear your sane, stable and honey-dripped voice like I do.

Erin in Morro Bay said...

As everyone by the shore knows, butter consumed in Billington Cove contains fewer fat grams - the ocean breeze wafts them away!

Marylinn Kelly said...

Lisa - There are things we simply know, of ourselves, of others we love. Over time there are people from whom we can take things, safely, at face value, knowing they can make a simple declaration and never have to explain. It is the mind, not the heart, that seeks explanations. Oh, thank you, my friend. I do love to read my work - honey-dripped, I'll trust you on that - perhaps a way can be found to share recordings (ego, moi?) which would be very fun. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Erin - In fact, isn't there something also about gravity at sea level that - I don't know - balances our metabolisms? It does just about everything else that is good for us. I do know that in Billington's Cove the ordinary rules do not apply. xo