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No one uses the dining room for dining, the dining room is a joke:

an exhibit designed for the lives our parents expected of us.

The dining room is closer to a display for the dead than it is for the living.

What if we renamed it the feeding room instead?

And filled it with hay and charred meat?

And ate with our hands in the straw and shat and slept there.

That is my kind of room, more for the living than the dead.

A rubric for how to live our lives by how we consume it.



Categories: poetry, writing

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24 replies

  1. I prefer “Jigsaw Puzzle Chamber.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This piece really made me think about rooms we don’t useand how everything can change. We used to use our dining room maybe three times a year. Felt compelled to buy a nice dining room table and chairs and hutch to fill it. Then when we were sent home to work last March, it became an office and occasional classroom. The cat has his bed on the dining room table, which would horrify my grandparents’ generation. The dining room has never been so useful and lived in and unhygienic.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I love it! You and how many others probably this past pandemic. “This past pandemic,” would that it were for all of us! Hi Kristen and greetings to you! Thanks for this.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. I would advise against “having shat there”, otherwise, this sounds as feral as my life. For my house, the dining room table is mostly a horizontal surface for storage. Chaos abounds.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Add to the dining room … the living room. Our dining room is used a handful of times a year, at most. Other than that, yep, it’s a shrine to the human existence. We don’t technically have a living room. The space that could be that was turned into a play room when we moved in. Our kids toys filled it for years. now that they’re gone, the room gets almost no use at all. It just sits there, waiting for somebody to sit down and enjoy its space.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That must feel weird, that empty space Mark. Spaces take on their own vibe for sure, some “shrines” as you say. And that feels vacant and weird to me sometimes, re: our own. Thanks for reading and hope you’re doing well!

      Liked by 1 person

      • When we had kids, I told the wife that I had no interest in shrines. I wanted our house to look like a place where children lived. I’ve referred to my parents home, the entire place, as a shrine to the human existence. Everything is in its place, random things aren’t allowed to just lay around. It’s stagnant to me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I like that: a shrine to human existence. Nice one, thanks for sharing Mark. I can see where this little riff might resonate with you then, that’s cool.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. About 10 years ago, we got rid of our dining room table, bought a second hand couch and chair and left the center of the room completely open. It’s one of our most popular rooms. Everyone uses it for yoga or to just lay on the floor after a big meal.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Laundry sorting. The leftover socks just stay on the candlesticks, to remind you to find them mates.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. What a great collection of responses, Bill. The forlorn spaces of our homes.

    Our former dining room is now the “AV room”. Which is code, of course, for “Music Room”.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We actually do use our dining room quite a few times every year when we have family over. But it takes work to find the table under the laundry that gets stacked on it, waiting to be sorted and folded and whatnot. There’s a also a basket wicker basket in there full of towels for the pool. Year round. Oh, and the dogs eat in there. So their bowls are their. And usually nice long trails of slobber leading away from them to wherever the dogs went.

    “an exhibit designed for the lives our parents expected of us” …. so true, and marvelously worded to boot.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. And that is why the table once walked to the kitchen remained.

    Liked by 1 person

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