Monday, November 12, 2012

Forked - a brief essay written before the second cup of coffee

I sit at the table with my date. I am drenched in sweat and ready to start screaming. It's not the company. Oh no, she seems pleasant enough. Middle aged, attractive, intelligent, and a 50/50 shot to offer to go dutch on the meal. No, it's not her. It's the forks. My place setting alone has four of them, intended for various uses. My date has a set. And the waiter, damn him, did not remove the other place settings, so there are forks there as well. The condiments jars with various foods soaking in oils and vinegars all have forks- tiny ones, yes, but still deadly.. I try to concentrate on her face but lose focus, and my eyes drift. But all the tables have forks as well and dear god, there are a lot of tables. It's an endless sea, with countless forks. Some are being used. The redhead with too much lipstick to the left of my date keeps catching my eye and she's putting her fork in her mouth, scraping the tines across her rather large teeth. She seems to be taking delight in my discomfiture. And then the moment. Somewhere, in the far corner of the restaurant, a fork vibrates. Maybe it was from a passing truck or the subway rumbling underneath the restaurant. No matter the cause, the vibration is picked up by adjacent forks, and they too begin to resonate, and it spreads like wildfire. The different forks resonate at various frequencies, a Ring Cycle gone mad. The vibrations gather momentum, a tsunami of metallic ringing that grows to monstrous proportion as it hurtles toward our table. The redhead smiles and pulls the fork from her mouth, lipstick smearing on it as it draws across her lips, and the taps it on her wine glass, the maestro conducting the horror. The wave washes across me. I am drowning. Dark spots swim before my eyes. I feel myself tottering on my chair, but summoning every gram of energy in my body, I struggle against the wave and manage to hang on. The wave passes, and my head pokes above water. Forks are strewn across the restaurant. The wait staff and patrons seem remarkably unconcerned. My date stares at me. "Are you okay? You look like you just saw a ghost. Are you having a heart attack?" I smile weakly, and making it look like an accident, sweep my forks off the table with my elbow. A waiter swoops in. "I am sorry, sir, let me bring you some clean forks." I shake my head no. "If you don't mind, I'd rather you bring me some chopsticks. And a double bourbon on the rocks please." He rushes off. I am better now. My personal space is clear of forks. I am safe. I look at my date. "Now, what was that about the time you hiked that mountain in New Zealand?" SZ 11/12/12 9:16am time for more coffee


  1. Love this delightful post! --pity that it ended --glad that you now seem to know more about possibilities of "fork behavior" --"vibration" is a fine outcome --some form of "connection" was made --and continues via echoes: proximity helps also, this reaching and connecting; this churning and re-churning --forms of "vibrations" "all" --what elegant madness indeed! --MORE PLEASE!

  2. Thanks! It is all about the resonance and I have something brewing in the back of the brain that I need to think on a bit.