The kitchen dinette was my mother’s most prized possession. She’d told me so on her deathbed.
My parents bought it when they moved into that tiny house off Central after the war. She was expecting, he’d gotten a promotion, and they could afford something new.
I sit at it now. Boxes of her things stacked around me, running my finger over the flecked blue and gold surface, around the aluminum trim, my shirt sticking to the plastic chair as I lean forward.
I think about the history these tables and chairs have seen. We watched the moon landing from here. The assassinations of a president and a peacemaker, one killed just a few miles away. I think about the brouhaha that erupted the night my brother found out that he’d been drafted, then said wasn’t going to go. And how one of the chairs had a permanent wobble because of that night.
When my father passed away, the table got pushed against the wall. Seating for three from that point on. We never knew what happened to the other chair.
I lay my face on its cool surface. I don’t realize I’m crying. I miss them too much to care.
No big historical reference here, except I know that a table like this probably exists in every family. My touchpoint for this was my the table in my stepfather’s mother’s kitchen. So this one is for him, and his parents.