(Where the love will never be served)
The world begins at the kitchen table, they said. I heard the song and poems about it everywhere, the dining table that serves meals as warm as a hug. I have been always listening closely and nod because I thought I understand.
What I thought as love was actually different from what most people could define it as: some of how was your day questions or smiles and laughter over today’s Dad’s lame joke. It was different in my memory. It was food that was way too hard to swallow, plates clashing and so do everyone’s teeth. I barely remember how the childhood dinners tasted because I’m way too busy to cope with yesterday’s arguments that again brought back to the table like leftover foods that were microwaved. I never know how it feels about discussing the day at the dinner table and lived with the thought that it worked like that for everyone.
And it was not long before everyone left the table empty. The concept in my head then changed to ‘We have meals everywhere but there.’ I eat by myself and thought that the chairs were meant to be left at a time when you are busy. ‘So maybe there is nothing wrong with the dining table. Everyone is just way too occupied.’ I didn’t know that you avoided it, leaving it empty on purpose because there is no longer love served. (Or it was never been served, it will never be.)
The dining room was built for nothing and the chairs were there only for us to feel less guilty. It was there for the exhibition of love that never existed.
I sometimes wonder if I was the only one who was present and everyone was in their own space, feeling glad that now everything is falling apart and we left our kitchen and the dining table behind. Does your new household have a table stuffed with your noodles and pie? Do you eat at it with the children were raised with love that should have been mine? The questions stuck in my throat, sting like fish bones scratch the flesh for years.
I sometimes pity myself for the thoughts of why it never worked. Was I not being good enough? What did I do wrong, which one of my mistakes made them think it was over? Then the realization crept all over me, washed me all over like a cold bath. I was never wanted. You brought me to life and never wanted me.
Our dining room was a mistake. There were only misconceptions about love that we thought were exist when they never were, the children you raised that you once thought you needed but then you changed your mind. I know the room was imperfect. I know the table will never be able to be used the way you wanted, and now your dining room contains more subtle and clear concepts of love that you long for. But it is the only house for the little kid I was. He will never be able to move anywhere. Not even when you two found your new loves and he left behind at the home that now will always be empty. You moved when you packed your luggage, he will be stuck there forever.
And if your new tables are what you consider as home, then where does mine belong?