The Glass of Wine, Johannes Vermeer, c.1658 - c.1660
" … one of those pleasingly notorious SmallThings we maintain between us."

Deliver me, please, from the ponderous conversation. Protect me from the onerous plea. Free me from all stentorious presentations. A chat seems what I need. A rambling one without apparent purpose. I trivial one where nothing gets disclosed. I cheering one where no-one gets derided. A hopeful one where we're clearly glad to see each other up close. One devoid of discomfiting revelations, a modest meeting of the most immodest minds. A face-to-face without verbal competition, a simple sit-down around a pot of tea, or beer, or one of those clear cocktails you sometimes seem to prefer. A "what's new' unlikely to grow older. A "not much" serious sort of chat. A plain-old ennobling fresh engagement where no demons seem welcome to begat. A meeting without an underlying purpose. A connection intended to lead nowhere. A brief breath of sorely needed fresh air, just the two or three or four of us there.

Let Presidents and politics lie their fool heads off while we engender sweet respite.
Leave the most pressing issues of the day to just have their way with themselves for a while, while we sit and smile over each other's quiet company. We could even feel like family for a brief little while, or a tribe, or a clan, or no relation at all, connected by forebrains for a spell. I feel as though I could tell you anything. I might choose to start off with a joke delivered so lamely that you have to prompt me the punch line. We'll chuckle conspiratorially, anyway. It doesn't matter what we say, but that we choose to say it here. It's clear we hold each other in considerable esteem as we come clean again. I won't need your salvation and you won't demand an over-festered apology. There will arise no great burning mystery aching to get resolved. Banality herself might muster dominion here, for it will seem clear that none of us came here to impress anybody, much less ourselves.

The eavesdroppers will have to slink home disappointed that no disbursable dirt was disclosed. The waiter won't be tempted to hover over our humble table, as no hot stock picks seem likely to be exposed. No rumors will rumple the linen before us. No whispers seem necessary here. We speak from 'I', never answering for another, never even attempting to read each other's mind. I'll ask when curious and tell when enquired and aspire to stay on the up and up throughout. There will be NO SHOUTING, for our passions remain at bay. There will be no pitiful crying for neither of us came to be saved. I'll tell what has been catching my eye, what's been helping me feel more alive lately. I'll listen rapt when you do the same, a little puzzled at your perspective, but abidingly appreciative just the same.

I do not require a talking to. I suspect that neither do you. Hire a psychiatrist if you need absolution, or a priest, or an ombudsman. We came for connection unadorned by any promise of salvation. Neither of us need to be saved and especially not by each other, for we're more like brothers or sisters or such, and redemption seems a bit much to expect of either of us, especially of me or you. We could simply pass some time together, time that otherwise might have been passed alone. It's been a long time since breakfast but just between the two or three of us, I'm mostly hungry for the touch that not all that much might bring, one of those pleasingly notorious SmallThings we maintain between us. Later, we could chat over lunch.

©2020 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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