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Crowded

      So, here’s what happened.
      I sat down for a nice lunch.  I was actually looking forward to it.  I was waiting for the food to be served when this big redneck in overalls plopped down right beside me.
      “Howdy,” he grinned, unembarrassed by his two missing front teeth.
      “Hello,” I mumbled back politely.
      Focus.  Focus.  It’s okay.  Maybe he’ll leave in a few minutes.  And then I’ll have the table to myself again.
      “You savin’ this for somebody?” I turned to see who talked and this genuinely large black guy was already sitting down on the other side of me.
      Redneck on the left.  Urban black guy on the right.
      “Great,” I thought. 
      Mental note: This is not to time to bring up the Zimmerman case.

      I turned back to the plate in front of me.  That’s when I noted that two ladies had joined us.
      I glanced around to see if somebody hung up some sign over my table that said, “Please join me for lunch.”
      The two ladies were quietly talking in some Middle Eastern language I didn’t recognize. 
      Mental note: This is also not the time to bring up the Israel Palestinian thing.
      I should have picked a smaller table.  This was really a disaster. Who wants to eat lunch with a bunch of strangers?  At least it would have been slightly less awkward if they were the sort of people I hung around with.  You know, the college-professor-of-church-history types.  Well, at least people who had the decency to talk in English. I glanced at the two Middle Eastern women happily chatting about something I began to suspect was probably sinister.
      I had lost my appetite.  It was so awkward.  I guess must have muttered out loud, “Who invited all you people here anyway?”
      “I did,” came the unexpected answer.
      I looked up.  Another stranger.  Beard and long hair. 
       “Hippy.” Then I realized I was in the wrong decade. 
      “Okay, country-western singer.” 
      Then he took bread, gave thanks, and broke it.
      And then I knew.  This was not my table.
      It was his table.
      And so, it was their table.
      It was our table.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow...love this. -Mary Bondurant (KCU)

Ryan McCracken said...

Beautiful.