Tables For Twos

They met at a cafe in Kuala Lumpur.

They sat at a table for two.

Four tables away two old gossips sat. They looked in amaze and gawked. Said one, “Oh, my, it’s Belinda San. She’s sitting with a poet, l know it!”

Then the other said, “Look how close they sit! It’s a scandal! See! She’s leaning closer; he’s leaning closer! Their lips almost touch! And right out in public!”

Then the first one noted, “Look, he’s pulling out a paper from his pocket! And she, too, is pulling out a paper from her pocket! He’s starting to read; she’s starting to read! It must be poems! Look how their lips are synchronized! Can you make it out?”

“Oh, yes. They are saying, I love you, I love you, I love you, over and over. What kind of a poem is that?”

“Should we report them?”

“What for? Bad poetry? And to whom?”

“To the State-against- synchronized-poetry authorities.”

“What for? They’re not hurting anyone.”

“But it’s so wrong.”

“What’s wrong about it? Besides, I’ll tell you a secret.”

“What?”

“I love you.”

“Oh, I’ve felt it, too. Does that mean we are lesbians, at the age of ninety?”

“Of course not. Dear friends we are. Put your hand under the table. We’ll hold hands, and every time they say ‘love’ we’ll squeeze.”

“Oh, my dear, we’ll soon be worn out! I hope we don’t have heart attacks.”

“Me, either. But aren’t they beautiful?”

“Look, he touched her knee with his knee! Oh, what a dear rascal!”

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