10-Line Tuesday

February 16, 2016

the theater of conversation

The boys were mute at dinner, listless at their plates and fidgety
with the footrests of their chairs, already turning toward departure.
We were wishing, as we do, for the impossible thing: a suspension of time,
a tidy meadow in the wild outcropping of their adolescence. We had sliced
apples, red pepper, for the table - small wedges designed to delay an exit.
There was the dim light of dessert at our elbows. But the meal floundered,
then collapsed, the theater of conversation emptied of its actors. The play
just couldn't go on. We let the kids go, our forks still clinging to a clutch
of green beans. But I’d be lying if I said my own heart didn’t quicken
at this trill of rebellion, if I didn’t rejoice in surrendering my part in the charade.