I gripped the table for support as everybody squeezed in - - and at that moment the first dishes were passed along.

Peter? someone said my name and the first plate landed on my left. I couldn't believe how hot the surface of the table had become, I figured that at this heat, a table of this sort should at least have melted or buckled. As my hand stuck to the hot table and peoples' voices merged so slowly that they went from speaking English into something new and foreign, I knew that I was unable to move.

The hostess squeezed a lemon over my starter. The lemon was bled, big and thick tears came out of it, a pip slipped on the seafood. People were eating down at the other end - - again someone spoke to me - the sound swelled - - others rubbed their fingers and tipped their glasses back and the nub of the table pressed itself into my body. A table leg shivered against my own which felt too weak to move or fight. The window was steaming up more's the pity - - I could still see enough glitter and spark from the cold however, and I made to stand up, apologising to those nearby.

The table gouged me - - it bit me I say - - wooden teeth seized my leg and tore  - - and that's when I tried to get up again.

I'll be remembered for pulling my plate and my neighbour's plate and two glasses of wine to the floor with me, where I stayed impressed upon the memories of all who saw me there.

Every face was a lamp above me - - the fire blistered in the grate - - I was picked up but at last I could manage myself, and I said thank you as they moved me to another room, where I rolled up my trouser and saw that indeed, there were really crude teeth marks there.