When their voices became strained, and their hands - more animated, I looked down at my plate and sat quietly.
We were having a heated discussion about the You Tube video that we watched and the article we read about it, on CNN. Some father had shot his daughter's laptop eight times. To my left, my daughter carefully made her case. To my right, a 50 year old male and long time friend- completely disagreed.
I started the entire mess. I thought it was something worth sharing.
Even among friends, opposing views on certain issues speak as loud as actions. I disagreed with my friend, too. There was no way that this wasn't fundamentally important.
My daughter's face looked like it often looked when she was in pain. Tears were forming in her eyes. She stopped eating. The baked chicken that I cooked for her- was cut into chunks, but the rest of her food, a healthy portion of freshly steamed broccoli, and corn on the cob, had not even been touched.
Color filled his face. A shade of pink. I told him later that when he started talking with his hands it reminded me of The Godfather- but I was just joking- and he knew it. His mother was German. His grandfather was a Nazi. These are the things I think about when he speaks passionately. Not the Godfather.
I refuse to argue with him, myself. Watching this, wasn't fun either.
I tried to speak. Neither of them did more than glance at me. It wasn't my fight. I felt belittled. Embarrassed for not taking the lead in this crusade. Truly, I just wanted to have peace among us. I valued her. I valued him. I valued harmony.
A vision of a field of daisies flashed thru my head. Some were trampled on.
Finally, he and I left to rent a blockbuster at the kiosk. Yeah, it was just an excuse to get him out of the house with me. She needed time to relax. The discussion needed to end.
When we came back, her plate was still on the dining room table. It looked exactly the same. She was talking to her boyfriend on her cell phone, in her room. He was her solution to everything, these days.
My friend and I started the movie. If I had to base our friendship solely on his unwavering conservatism, I could never love him the way that I obviously do. Even though he can be more constant than time- more frigid than the north pole- we have a friendship that transcends.
I curled up, and leaned my head on his shoulder. The details of the evening unfolded in my mind...
He had called earlier-he was in town, and asked "What's for dinner?" He offered to pick up something from the store, I told him that we had everything. "Do you have...vegetables?" he had asked. "Yes." I had answered. "Do you have...?" "Yes." He was persistent. He kept asking me until I realized that I was out of a few things. "Pick up some milk. Oh! And I am out of coffee. Get some coffee."
I whispered in his ear, "Don't let me forget to pay you for the coffee I asked you to pick up for me."
"Don't worry about it," he replied. I squeezed his hand. We were watching a comedy.