wobbly coffee shop table

My head had been hurting on and off for a while after spending too many hours squinting at this tiny netbook, doing optimistic, potentially work-related things.  So I decided to give it a break and take some fresh air.

The final day of this bank holiday has  been dreary, overcast, gloomy and faintly deathly.  It’s been an ending sort of day.

Took a bucket of coffee at one of the chain outlets which dot my London burb, then found a table.  The first I came to was directly beneath a bland music-pumping speaker and I wanted to listen to my own bland music (Joshua Radin) and read my book (Little Children by Tom Perrotta: my author find of the year), break from potentially work related things entirely, just for a while.

So I moved to the back of the room, near the kitchen door, right in the corner.  I placed my bucket of coffee, its saucer and small pot of milk onto the table, then landed on the chair.

Suddenly there was nowhere for my not insignificantly long legs to go.  They clashed with the underside table rung and rocked the whole apparently unsteady table, causing my mug to wobble and various liquids to slop across the table surface.

Maddeningly furious, I struggled to contain an embarrassingly audible growl and wriggled in my chair.  Literally no space.  Who the fuck thought…  AND this table!…  which teetered as I pushed it, attempting to give my legs some space.

For a brief moment this was symbolic of everything.  My tendency to extend such frustrations and apply them more widely to my woefully unfulfilled life took hold.

Sitting down to a structurally unknown coffee shop table was a bit like deciding to try and be a freelancer.  It might be secure and normal, steady and solid.  Or there could be an unpredictable flaw somewhere which would tilt everything unmanageably.  If you’re able to correct it, cope and manage, it might work.  If it’s unbearable and makes you too nervously uncomfortable to sit it out, you won’t.

But you’ll only find out by sitting down.

I eventually righted the table adequately to maintain my position and enjoyed a most pleasant half hour in the company of Joshua and Tom.  Needless to say, that can’t be extended to mean anything at all.


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