One of the best conversations is the kind that makes the listener sit forward in their chair, lock widened eyes with the divulger, and slap the table as they exclaim, “Yes! That is exactly how it is!” While each dialogue is different, the plot remains the same: The slap is the physical reaction to a revelation.
Of course, tables can be slapped for a number of reasons in a manner of ways.
Vital talking points are punctuated with a steady beat of heavy open handed slaps where the palm pauses a moment between raps to linger in the disturbance it created to feel the hum of energy reabsorbed back into the palm as well as to maintain control over the situation, even down to the very length of time each individual fiber of the particleboard is allowed to resonate.
A single slap on a table while seated, where the hand lies flat but firm against the surface, as if the owner is prepared to do a one armed push-up, can signal one’s intent to get up and leave. Its verbal equivalent is an arching “Well!” The same elbow of the hand on the table rises up and out, and the rest of the body leans forward where all of the weight shifts to the feet. The hand stays pressed in anticipation of the moment it will assist in pushing up and away from whatever conversation its owner is being forced to endure.
A single slap on the table that is applied with a diagonal swipe down and towards the owner ending palm down below the plane of the tabletop tends to signal an ‘oh shit’ moment. Usually only the upper two quadrants of the fingers make contact with the table. A computer application crashed before being able to save a file, a game of dominoes is lost, something important is remembered, but too late.
While most table slaps are a physical and audible demonstration of displeasure, revelation slaps encompass traits of the other slaps but differ in the temper in which they are delivered.
A revelation slap is somewhat similar to an ‘oh shit’ slap but where the ‘oh shit’ slap ends below the tabletop towards the lap, the revelation slap sweeps upwards and flys towards the mouth, throat or heart of the owner. The fingers strike the table with the same force used to ring a cymbal or a large bell without a mallet, and the strike serves as a way to punctuate the silence just after the speaker’s words, the revelation and the listener’s words that follow: ‘Exactly!’ ‘No way, me too!’ ‘You too?’,’Well, I’ll be damned’, and sometimes ‘I thought I was alone in feeling this way… thinking this way…wondering about in life worrying that I was the only mote on this mote harboring this particular notion.’
The revelation slap is very important as not only does it signal the listener’s acknowledgement of the revelation so bravely imparted by the speaker- it almost always is followed by a revelation of the listener’s own experience, and when two revelations are present at the same moment in this manner, it is inevitable that a third will result, even if it is just a whisper of a revelation shared between the confidantes, a breath that draws them a breath closer to the answer yearned for as much as life itself though we have yet to learn how to ask the question.
It is questions that we should be seeking, as only then can an answer follow. This is why children learn so rapidly early on if their questions are answered honestly and factually. In the end, it all adds up to the sum of their knowledge, which is why it is important to teach others that it is a good thing to ask questions as well as to teach them how to figure out what questions they need to ask to get to the answer they seek.