Recently I found a curb alert piece on the edge of someone’s front lawn. It was a nice mission style table with two shelves, on wheels. It is a nice honey maple color. It’s a bit dusty, but if looks like it will clean up fairly easily. Into the back of my CRV it goes, and on our way we continue to my 6 year old son’s friend’s birthday party.
Later that night, my husband unloads the find and brings it into the house. I clean it thoroughly, and in doing so, reveal a pejorative term carved into the top, racist in nature. I am uncomfortable with this immediately, and put a towel over the top. My husband and I talk about this. Can I sand it off, refinish the top. It comes in handy twice over the next 2 weeks when we get a driving rain mixed with wind, just the combination that results in a leak in the kitchen. We roll it over and the water drips slowly and quietly onto the towel that is covering the hatred carved into the table.
But, we have no room for this in our home. Both the table, and the hatred. I decide I will donate it to Goodwill. I have my husband take it outside and he gets me the most coarse sandpaper we have. I rub and rub and rub. There still is a faint imprint that you can make out. I am struck with this, the depth of the hatred. I also think about how wonderful it would be if this kind of hatred was that simple to rub away. I hand the sawdust filled sandpaper to my husband, and ask him to rub harder than I can, to get completely rid of it. He does so. The table is now left with a spot lighter and rougher than the rest of the surface. It is almost like a scar.
It reminds me of a picture I once saw of a woman who had one of her breasts fully removed. She was standing, arms stretched into the sky, her remaining breast unscathed. And, she proudly wears a long deep scar where the other breast was. But, here she was, alive, having had her deadly cancerous breast removed. Here, on this table, the hatred is removed, scar left behind, table now healthy and well, free from the hatred of the word carved into it. I brought the table to Goodwill the next day, and as I walked away from it, I ran my hand over the scar, the scar of hatred removed.


About robin swetz

I am a creative writer that enjoys the simple things in life. I really connect with humor and really like making observations and writing about them with an overlay of humor. Its what makes my world go around.,
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