I am Table 19
(Originally posted 4/15/2018. Good book recommendation and a great movie recommendation. Where else you going to get that kind of return on the investment of your time?)
Recently I became desperate to try and understand what was taking place between my ears. This desperation led me to try and tackle a book called Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky. I tackled it in much the same way a Pee Wee football player, all 85 pounds of him, would attempt to tackle an NFL running back.
I will spare you terms like basolateral amygdale, insular cortex and the locus coeruleus, and instead try to sum things up by saying that whatever behavior results from whatever stimuli you find yourself subjected to it’s a group decision. You are not one thing.
In your head there is a big conference room made up of different sections of your brain and each of these areas has a strong, and often conflicting, opinion on your course of action for each and every decision you make. There are so many physical and mental variables that on any given morning you might make a completely different decision than the one you made the previous evening.
There, I just saved you 717 pages of the most brutally technical jargon you can imagine.
The more interesting thing might be to discuss why I have been so desperate to understand why people make the decisions they do.
As usual, it has to do with a girl.
You have to understand that I want to be a man of science. I want explanations that make sense … but all I get is this weird feeling that from this very minute until the day my ashes are hurled up into the air I will be going through something I’m not meant to understand.
Last night this was verified because this girl came to me when I needed her most. In a vision. Well, not so much a vision as a movie.
I was alone and sleep would not come and I was flipping through the roughly 800,000 movie channels and suddenly she appeared on the screen in a movie that I’d never heard of. As I started to watch I realized that this movie couldn’t actually exist. It had been sent for me to watch at precisely that moment. There were too many familiar actors and actresses for it to have been released and never popped up on my radar.
I had only moments before put down Mr. Sapolsky’s tome where he had laid out all of the influencers sitting at the table inside our heads when this movie launches into a description of all the different tables at a wedding and who makes them up. I understood. Each table was a person. The world has seven billion tables and counting.
And I am table 19.
It was so clear. What isn’t so clear is why Anna Kendrick had been chosen by fate to be the vessel for me. I wouldn’t have stopped and watched the movie if she hadn’t been in it.
Eloise. Walter. Bina. Renzo. Jo. Jerry. Everything inside me is present and accounted for in these six characters. They are the group in my head. I can’t help but think Robert M. Sapolsky and Jeffrey Blitz (who wrote the screenplay) would have a hell of a conversation about this metaphor. It simply can’t be a coincidence that I happened to find this movie at exactly the moment I needed to.
When I woke up this morning and realized that Table 19 was actually a real movie I was shocked. I looked at the reviews and they were terrible. Critics ripped it apart. How could they not? It was only made for me. How could they ever understand? I feel like I owe Anna an apology. I should tell her how much I appreciate her going to the effort of making an entire movie just so I could hear I Melt With You playing at the end of it and feel like everything might just work out ok for me. That there are worse tables to be.
And to you dear reader;
It is. It so is.
I can’t not be in love with you.
You screw up all the time.
But so do I. Way worse.
I don’t want to be disappointed by anybody but you.
And I don’t want to disappoint anybody but you.”