Noteworthy Tumblr #5: Table For One

Table For One is simple. It has a white background, photos of people eating alone, a title, and that’s about it. However, it elicits some strong feelings from people.

The tumblr didn’t evoke any negative emotions from me, maybe because I eat alone so often. I enjoy eating by myself. You can’t forget that just because you are at a table for one, it doesn’t mean you are alone.

Photo credit: Jerry Hsu

Remember The Carpet

I remember the carpet in my elementary school. It was that short kind of carpet: cut low to the floor. You know, that commercial/industrial strength carpet, you probably have it your office. I do. I’m sure some chemical or textile company had developed it particularly to withstand the 1000’s of muddied, sneakered, stomping feet.

Of course we were made to scrape the mud off our feet before we were allowed to the drinking fountains after recess. But it often did little good. Sometimes, while sitting in a group in front of the teacher as she read Where The Red Fern Grows or The Bridge To Terabithia or some such nonsense, I would try to peel large chunks of dried mud from the tread in my sneakers. Trying to keep the chunks as large as I could without breaking them, so they would end up being a cast of the shape, design, and pattern of the tread of my cool new kicks. After examining my cast and then breaking it into little pieces and pebbles and dust, I’d simply leave the dirt there on the carpet.

The carpet was glued, it seemed, straight onto the concrete pad, almost as if it were a part of the cinderblock building’s foundation. It seemed as unyielding as the cement it was bonded to. This carpet had the ability to give you the worst rug burns ever. It had no give and could peel away the first layers of skin faster than sandpaper. I remember we would rub a pencil eraser, or the round butt end of a bic pen, as fast as we could on the carpet. The friction heated up the eraser/pen to such a degree that it had the ability to burn you and leave a bright red mark. This was a great trick for unsuspecting foes and a strange rite of passage given to close friends.

Occasionally, actually, quite often, some poor child would be brought to school ill, or would have a stomach problem, or anxiety, or bad food, and would throw up on the carpet. Everyone would gross out while the poor child’s teacher, or an aid, would come to console them and take them down to the clinic. The janitor would then come out of his closet to clean it up the best he could. After some hosing and mopping, he would then sprinkle some sort powder that smelt like mint bubble gum on the carpet, I presume to absorb both the acid fluids and the odor. Later on he would come and clean the carpet with a vacuum and you would never know that some unfortunate seven-year old lost his insides there.

Sometimes there would be pieces of the carpet that had been damaged. Little pieces of it, about the size of quarters. The chunks would be smooth and black like glass. I think they were either caused by melting, or possibly chewing gum that has been ground into its tiny fibers for years.

The carpet was mostly orange but had a little brown in it. It covered the entire floor of the school: classrooms, library, offices, and even during my early elementary years, the gymnasium. This was unfortunate because the gymnasium was also the cafeteria. I have no clue as to how many cartons of milk, bowls of peaches, cups of cottage cheese or blobs of ketchup were dropped and left to sit (please don’t tell the aid that I spilt my juice again, she always yells at me) on that carpet. But if the stench that it held was any indication, it was a LOT. A putrid smell of leaked, trickled, dropped and dumped slop having sat stagnant and unable to be completely, or even partially, cleaned. Rancid in the carpet for who knows how long. I bet I could still instantly recognize the peculiar sour bouquet of lunch-carpet. We played basketball, dodgeball, and danced on that gymnasium/cafeteria floor. But when we did tumbling and gymnastics our gym teacher put mats down. By the time I was in 6th grade they replaced the gym with regular wood, basketball-court-style floors.
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Bizzarre Love Triangle

A funny thing happened at lunch today. I was sitting in the little fast food restaurant eating my naked burrito. To my right, on the other side of the restaurant about 30 feet away were an EMT and his girlfriend (poor girl, doesn’t she know her man’s gonna get all/is all fucked up on human tragedy and access to free pharmaceuticals). Now the EMT and his girl were really enjoying each others company – feeding each other, reaching across the table and caressing each others lips and faces, and eventually leaning across the table for long soft kisses. And they did it with no shame, aware that everyone knew what they were doing.

Next to the couple about 15 feet away were three girls in their early twenties. The one in the middle could not stop staring and the affectionate EMT and his equally affectionate girlfriend. I couldn’t quite tell from her face whether she was revolted, turned on, or simply intrigued by this display. So I stared at her.

As soon as I got her attention (which took a while cause she was so involved with this other couple) I made a little smirk. She stared at me for a second probably ashamed/wondering about how long I had been watching her for and thus knowing how long she had been watching the couple. I made a quick glance at the couple and then back at her and flashed a big knowing smile. Meanwhile the EMT realized what was happening. She then shyly smiled, blushed, and kind of flustered her hands around trying to find something to do. Her two friends who had noticed the couple and me, but hadn’t been blatantly staring, then caught on then and started laughing at her. With embarrassed giggles they quickly picked up their stuff and left.

The EMT the leaned over to his girlfriend. Having her back to me, she turned her head over her shoulder to look in my direction. When she realized whom her boyfriend was talking about she made a big smile towards me and the EMT leaned over and gave me a huge thank you smile. I laughed out loud and then buried my head in my book wondering how six people had such a full and awkward conversation without actually saying a word.
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It Was My Fault

Just some quick updates cause I don’t feel like writing much.

We lost our first game of ultimate last night. It was my fault. I wasn’t playing tight enough D. The guy I was covering scored the winning point. Oh well.

I had lunch with Sabrina today. We went to my favorite mexican restaurant: La Fiesta. I like going there to show off cause I’m kind of a regular. I know some of the wait staff and they have a hubs burrito (super burrito, beef & been, extra cheese, green chili, no tomato). Mmmmmmmm. Me and Sabrina touched on some issues of our past and such. She still seems a little bitter toward me and I know I’m still a little bitter towards her. And you can tell we both have some things we want to say but are not sure how. But, at the same time, it’s really nice being able to hang out together.
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Breakfast 5

Decided to take my first shot at the Friday Five today.

1. What did you have for breakfast this morning? If you didn’t have breakfast, why not? A grande latte, if that counts as a breakfast. I normally don’t eat breakfast, it upsets my stomach when I eat too early.

2. What’s your favorite cereal? I can’t remember the last time I had a bowl of cereal but I guess my favorite would be Post Grape-Nuts.

3. How often do you eat out? Do you want that to change? Nearly everyday for lunch. Yeah, I want to change that. I’d save a boat load of money if I brought my lunch to work just 3 times a week.

4. What do you plan on having for dinner tonight? Got a recipe for that? I’ll be having true Cajun gumbo fixed by a true Coonass. Recipe not available.

5. What’s your favorite restaurant? Why? It changes, but right now it’s Tommy’s Thai because of their excellent food for an excellent price.
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