I won an auction for a coffee table on Trade Me. When I went to pick it up I discovered it was actually less than half the size I envisioned from its zoomed-in photo. While there though, the nice couple selling it asked if I needed anything else, like any of that dusty crap in their garage. A desk lamp, sure. And I notice a table, white with painted black letters all over it. It looks artistic, like something only a creative person would sit at. They attempt to show me how it has wings to expand the sides, but the wings crash down, unsupported. “Fifteen dollars” for the broken table they decide, and into the rental van it goes with some grunting and heaving.
I guess it wasn’t until it was parked in my living room (too fat to make it into the back room where I’d intended) that I really started reading what was painted on it:
“The sky was filled with glowing babies each unique but oh! did they shine”
“We come to a time when we feel like it is just a gag.”
“Some people like to go out dancing and some dream of romantic cheese and frills often white in colour”
“We live for the beauty and godness of rock n’ roll knowing someday it will be thus which saves us.”
AND, my personal favorite:
“Fantasy is an illuminous place filled with clip-on earrings.”
What I first assessed as the creative work of a poet I’ve now determined was the 4am project of a mind-altered manic-depressive. This isn’t poetry, it’s…a drug trip dripping down table legs. Just a little disappointed, I turned the table so that “kill the bastards” faced the back wall and bought some spray paint a couple weeks later.
Well, 8 months later and the spray paint still sits on a shelf unused. I’ve made friends with the table. On its cork top, I’ve fashioned hideous pottery projects, beaded the same necklace 5 times, and industriously glued plastic beads and feathers to a masquerade ball mask. Right now, one of the ugliest of the pottery projects sits on top, pink fuzzy flowers dieing inside. The platter next to it holds my collection of beach loot to cover the large crack, and a little wooden moldable person (who was supposed to model for a yet-unillustrated children’s book) dances in between. This is my corner. The corner of artistic-endeavors-that-fall-short. The place where ideas were illuminous but results were tacky as clip-on earrings.
It’s a good reminder though. Between yoga and books and the people I’ve met, I start to believe that my understanding of people and world is expanding, that I’m learning something significant. I sketch in pencil or tap on keys and think it means something. Well, the person who painted “Others dream of reality; wild boars with fried tomatoes alike” must have thought that too. Helps me realize that my thoughts and I, we’re an ongoing project. A venture filled with cracked pots and tedious redos. But despite that, the project is worth continuing indefinitely.
Side note: The table has been such a conversation piece, that a friend and I are writing a song about it. I imagine minor chords. Although “tad sad fad rad rad cat, cat in the hat hat” might make a bouncy chorus.
Tags: New Zealand, Trade Me