I am in a room with several others - it might be 7, it might be 9, I’m not sure and I can’t be bothered to count. It’s definitely not an even number - I would sense that immediately. So here I am with odd folk, gathered around the hub of the space, a table decorated with the most magnificent cloth. It appears to have been woven by hand some time ago - it has that weighty quality that only age can bestow upon an object. But it is not frayed or even fraying - it is as a dignified old nobleman, perhaps some more dew in his eyes as he reflects but still he maintains himself with good cheer and quiet grace. So too does the tablecloth. It has acquired some marks and scuffs over the years certainly, but these do not diminish it - rather the opposite. They enhance this piece of cloth - smudging into it some truth about itself and the role it purports to play. For people are drawn to it when they enter the space, clustering eagerly around the table and nodding down approvingly at it. You might question me here and ask whether it is in fact the table that draws people in, for it serves an obvious and practical purpose, less subtle than the cloth. But I do not think so. I can’t convince myself that is simply the sturdy practicality and the filling of the space that the table does that the people gather around. I would like to test this by transferring the cloth to the floor and removing the table altogether, transforming the tablecloth to a floor cloth, a carpet of sorts. But this experiment would also be hideous and grotesque - me a domestic Dr Frankenstein reshaping and contorting the world into unnatural forms. The cloth belongs on the table and there it must remain. Impossible to test then, hypotheses and thoughts unthunk.
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