|"Wobbly table... and woolly hat."|
A circular table rests before me in Starbucks, which I usually rest my netbook upon, to write. I have an agreement with myself that I always write through a minor level of discomfort, purely for the sake of staying alert; though I worry one day I might catch piles - but that’s another story altogether.
Anyhow, this particular table is bothering me. It is – in layman’s terms, wobbly; the nightmare scenario of every writer. The cylindrical surface stands uneven in relation to the floor, and while slight discomfort is helpful, a full on pain in the arse, isn't. Knowing the problem is irrelevant in relation to the solution, I begin to consider how to make a wonky table, solid.
I cannot change seats; Starbucks is - as usual, far too busy. I am also comfortable here, and feel moving would be an admission of defeat. Quitting writing is out of the equation; I have a long standing agreement with myself to finish a blog, once stared, and with only a couple of exceptions, have always succeeded. So after a few minutes thought, I decide to place a wedge in-between table and floor. Initially I slot a series of folded napkins between the gaps; they are forceful yet fruitless, and the table still arcs like a porch rocking chair in the blustery wind. I replace the napkin with a collection of cardboard cup holders instead; for a moment they work, then decide to slip out, every minute I adjust them back. Fixing a hole is clearly not the answer.
There are other avenues; I attempt to write using the table’s edges. I place my laptop upon a book. I even consider using a chair to write; giving up on that, as I see it as a justified action of quitting – that and this metaphorical pain in the arse, would give me an actual pain in the back. I could switch tables with an unknowing patron, but that would be selfish - and it isn't right to offload my problem onto an innocent bystander. All ideas fail. The problem it seems, is beyond my process of thought; which is difficult for someone who believes their brain can solve any problem to accept.
Facing the internal humiliation of defeat, I glance into the distance. A hooded Teenage-boy faces the same wobbly table issue as myself. In a flash, his hands clasp the tables side like a giant steering wheel. He twists the table one-hundred and fifty degrees to the right, and it works; standing rigid and firm. I smile to myself. In overcomplicating a simple problem, all I found were dead-ends; coupled with ten minutes lost, going down these roads. The lesson was very simple, and yet again, youth has unintentionally taught me a valuable lesson of life.
Sometimes, the answer doesn’t lie in changing everything on the surface; it simply comes from a slight change of the angle you view it from. Without this, I would never have been able to write this article. Without the wobbly table, I may never have learnt this lesson....