May 2004 / Volume Five / Issue Two
Andrew Yves Aulino
What it Really Means to Table

Four legs and a top. The table tables, that's what it's built to do; in fact it can't do anything else, for anything a table does is tabling. End over end, table tumbles through empty space. He flips across backdrops of night sky, jungle, and beach then lands in the kitchen again. I scream, and then tell it, “Table, you fall apart so easily! You're only bits of wood and metal, that's all you'll ever be.” Table ignores me and bounces back and forth across the room, quite as springily as a spaniel. He rubs himself against the wall; he growls hungrily but cannot eat. Table pounces all through the house, breaking a vase and knocking books from the shelves. One leg lands in the middle of Bruce, a beautiful brown Italian greyhound, then leaves bloody footprints on the linoleum and the walls.

So much for eggshell white, I thought, lying on the couch not feeling totally sane. I can live with the noise, I didn't start this. Table tabled all night long, he's tabling today and will table tomorrow. Hearing Table burst from the front door I rush to my front steps to see him tabling down the street, graceful as a squirrel. Sunset is showing, in tones of pinkish gold across the lawns, and Table tables off into it, to terrorize cities across the land. Sober colonial homes line my street, and I pity their owners. Nobody who watches him from the part in their curtains has any idea what it really means to table.