The table lies abandoned and neglected, suffocating fresh blades of grass. The blistering sun's arms chip away at the decaying paint. The only attention it receives is from a colony of black ants which infest the cracks and crevices. This splintered wooden table once had a life, when it provided rest under the shadow of an umbrella made of orange tree leaves, when grapefruit pits replaced ants and banana peels adorned the surface like a table cloth.
We spent countless summer days sitting at this wooden table. The seats were reserved for my brothers, grandpa and me, however, the places were never permanent assignments. We needed to periodically rotate our spots for fear that my grandpa would break through the center of the bench and fold us up inside.
The location of the table provided a grand view of the entire backyard, beginning with the half-empty pool, to the half-flooded surrounding concrete. From this look-out, point my younger brother surveyed his sprouting tomato plant and I could supervise my cardboard lizard motel, which provided shelter for lost reptiles.
In addition to its significance as a surveillance tower and snack rest, the table possessed industrial value, as the location for our kite production line. All four of us took part in this activity, each with a designated chore. Age established the seating order, and each position required the completion of a different task. Since age best indicated ability, my younger brother gathered supplies, and broke a fresh piece of wood from the volunteering orange tree, displaying its branches daily. My other brother and I, equal in age, remained equal in responsibility. We held together the branches in a diagonal shape, while my grandpa, far superior in years, secured the pieces with yarn in the most aerodynamic way possible.
Our table production line continued until the surface became dull from its frequent use, and the legs splintered from the weight imposed on its aged back. When the sight of the dilapidated table became too offensive for my parents to support its location, it was demoted from the center of the backyard, to a hidden corner cluttered by outgrown infant chairs and a rusted swing set.
This relocation symbolized our passing of age, and was finalized by its replacement with a new wooden table. The original orange tree umbrella has since folded up and the kite, our pride and joy, was stolen by the jealous wind. Yet memories of the old wooden table will never die and will remain in my mind forever.