For this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Amy (here) chose “Small Is Beautiful” for the theme.
My contribution is this photo of the centerpiece setting at a local eatery. The table centerpieces were small, with subtle details, but they were artsy and fun to look at during dinner.
Lens-artist weekly photo-challenge prompt hosts are:
Part 2: 500-Word Fiction
Funny how little things can carry you sometimes.
There I sat, across the table from an ugly person.
Not in appearance, but in essence and being.
I have grace and understanding for his plight, I do.
A personality disorder, embedded over the years, manifested in lack of empathy, puffed-up rudeness, tangents in talking about self, and an all-about-me mentality.
Thankfully, I do not have to be around him often.
When I accepted the group dinner, I saw his name but forgot about his ways.
Choked by status and stunted health – partly from too much material wealth and little to no accountability.
Isn’t it funny how many small things are forgotten over time?
It had been a couple of years since I vowed to never dine out with him.
I forgot that vow; in fact, forgot it so much to where I was looking forward to seeing him (along with everyone else).
Then, during appetizers, narcissistic symptoms emerged. Sipping my water, I thought of coping strategies.
Whiskey was out. So was downing Cabernet.
Sitting there, disconcerted, small details in brown-bottle centerpieces dazzled.
I compared and contrasted arrangements.
Bottle size, coils, wisps.
Servers came and went and our “special one” did his thing. All while I discovered bottle number three was 25% smaller than bottles one and two and the towering spirals were most full in bottle one.
While nodding to folks that steamed mussels were delish, I protected my affect with this little mental game. Sounds like such a small matter, but listening to this man for a mere couple of hours could leave one stained and drained.
So I guarded my exposure.
“Now let’s see,” I quietly mused as dinner plates were cleared, “the bottle bottom is 2 inches in diameter so the radius is 1, which means…” — Before I could grab a bottle and work pi, or find the point of tangency, a pastry chef arrived, which was fortuitous because he spared me embarrassment. I was actually about to pick up a centerpiece. My tangent was interrupted.
“No puffs, thank you,” I replied, “I would rather try the pie,”
And yes, I smiled to myself because of all the fun I was having with my musing on circle pi and dessert pie. Then my spouse gently squeezed my hand, sending me a wink, a reassuring gesture of support that indicated we were both enduring here.
At the end of this dinner affair, I was sipping coffee, which was steaming hot and dark. I smiled at how dinner unfolded so delightfully. This man had his way, other dinner guests enjoyed their courses, and I was not annoyed to the core. In fact, the last time we dined out with him, at a white-tie event, I was steaming hot when we left because it was a dark time sitting across from him for two hours. This time, though, I problem-solved astutely.
Sometimes it’s the little things that help us cope. And on this night, small brown-bottle centerpieces rescued me.
© priorhouse 2018
© priorhouse 2018