a coffee table - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
The coffee table was concrete with sand embedded in the top. It always reminded her of LA, the city and the beach. She loved it for not being made from a tree, for having such boldness in simple industrial artistry. The table had never been a part of a rainforest, never put down deep roots or stretched up toward the sunny rays, and so she felt that it was a green choice. If she wanted to see wood she'd step outside, see one that was living instead of the varnished slabs generations have sought such empty status in.
The coffee table had once been brightly coloured doors, from a neighbourhood where fuchsia and sky-blue were common. In the grain of the wood there were streaks of these colours, of creams and greens too. I loved it all the more for being reclaimed, for being made perfect by all those random imperfections.
It was a one-cup coffee table. Each leg was dark bamboo, narrowing and widening at the joints. Yet on the top of this simple piece was a carving of grapevines and the more Ingrid looked, the more hues of brown she saw. Some shades were like pinewood made wet by rain, others were bright like rosewood or dark like deepest oak. She liked it right away. It was accidentally beautiful.
Under his great rough hand the wood felt soft, though in truth it was the other way around. The wood that had once been a barn door lay smooth under his palm, streaks of cherry red still infused in the ancient grain. Ted set his mug down, its red glaze echoing the colour of the coffee table beneath. It was as if thousands of sunrises had seeped in and would forever be radiated into the room.
The coffee table was a round tin tray on legs. The surface was brightly painted, doubtless once perfect. Upon it was the image of a robin in snow, a symbol of life amid the cold. The table legs were iron rods curled at the base, rising upward, somewhat organically. Anna traced her fingers around them, imagining them to be vines reaching for wintry sunshine.
Pia smirks as she sits, but not cruelly, she knows before she goes any further that they have lots in common. The coffee table is made from reclaimed wood, she can see the old nail holes in the deeply stained pine. Once that wood was a barn, a warehouse maybe, perhaps as far away as Vietnam. But wherever it's from it means the man she's started dating is greener than he's letting on. Or perhaps he never bought it, maybe it's a hand-me down. She purses her lips and speaks as if the information is of no importance. "Hey, Mike, I love the coffee table, was it a gift from someone?"
"Oh, what, that thing? No, I bought it in a sale, it matches the dining table, see?" Pia grins as she goes to see the dining table, looking for more clues about her new love interest...
Tabitha eyed the new coffee table, it was old fashioned and mahogany, not one of those mass produced items with veneers over compressed fibre boards, but real wood right the way through. She shuddered at the thought of what it cost to make, not in money but in old growth forest, but there was no point in telling Karla off for buying it. It was antique and therefore more environmentally friendly to buy now than anything new. So instead she smiled and threw an arm around her girlfriend, "It's beautiful K, just like you."
The table top was shells the colour of sand, the hues varying like the beach from dawn to dusk. The mosaic was polished to a high shine and from below the great golden disk came legs of twisting driftwood.
The timber for the house furniture had been torn out of the old factory. Posts that once held a high tin roof, now held coffee cups and Saturday morning custard creams. The twins would stand there in idle moments, poking their fingers into the old nail holes, imagining them to be tunnels into another realm. Year in, year out, it sat in the same spot, reassuringly heavy and robust.
The coffee table was a slab of slate held in curled iron rods. The weathered grey told its quiet tale of eons passing as if only a second and of single seconds that promised eternity. The stone told of soft spring rains and of winter hail, of sunshine without end and of nights that sang sweet songs of the stars.