Conversation with a Lonely Chair
Old favorites rebel against change. I have a favorite old pair of jeans (they would fit snugly now if I could get into them, but I refuse to let them go). I have favorite soaps, coffee mugs, and many other dear items that I will never throw out! I don’t know how many times I tell my husband, “No, that belonged to Mom, or Candy, or Jennelle, or Grandma.” I also have many memories that I retain of people long gone, a change that cannot rebel time. As I think of those people, I see the chair. Of course, reminiscence always seems to be interrupted by nuisance.
“So, I’m a stinky, old chair! Why pick me for this assignment?”
“You’re not a stinky, old chair! You have meaning.”
“Sure, yeah. You know, I don’t need this torture. I’ve been beat up enough! If that kid and that old lady sit on me one more time…”
“You’ll love it, just as you always have.”
“Easy for you to say. That kid… what’s his name? James? Why couldn’t you just write a story about him?”
“I did. He’s part of your story.”
“I don’t have any stories! These patches all over me have stories! And that’s another thing! If that old lady sticks me with a needle one more time …”
“She won’t. There’s no holes left to cover.”
“Yeah, but if she gives me to that kid, he’ll do it! I know he will.”
“Well, you don’t want your stuffing to fall out do you? Then where would you be?”
“Hmm… good point. I don’t want to end up there. Say, who is that kid anyway? Why’d you choose him?”
“Does it really matter? He loves you. Isn’t that enough of a reason to choose him?”
“Bah… what kid would love a smelly, old chair? Shows how smart that kid is!”
“To him, you’re grandpa. You remind him how much his grandpa loved him. You’re filled with good memories that he will always think about, and you smell like Grandpa. You aren’t smelly.”
“Well, maybe you’re right. So… what are you saying? I’m old?”
“Yeah, you’re old, but can I write your story?” Oh, gosh, here he comes! I really don’t want to deal with him right now. I was having a pleasant conversation with Chair.
“Who’s that kid?”
“Don’t pay any attention to him. That’s Bobby Jay … his story is already written, too. Go home, Bobby Jay.” That boy grinds my teeth like gears on an eighteen wheeler with a fresh driver
“Did you write your own story?” Bobby Jay plopped his rear end on Chair.
“Ouch!” a smothered reply.
“I wrote his story,” I corrected, lifting Bobby Jay from the chair.
“Thanks,” Chair croaked.
“Hey, don’t let her say that! She said she wrote my story, too, but really, I did! Don’t let her get away with that!”
“Kid, does it look like I have fingers?”
Bobby scanned Chair, “Oh, well, she may have written your story, but she didn’t write mine. I did!”
“Bobby Jay, I think I hear your mom calling you! You better leave now.”
“Oh, no! I hope my snake didn’t get out again!” Bobby Jay will be back. I know he will. He always comes around when I’m in a facetious mood.
“Hey,” Chair whispered, “Can you get rid of that kid?”
“He just left, Chair. Don’t worry; I won’t let him plop on you again.”
“No, I mean, “get rid of” that kid … you know …”
“Chair! I’m shocked! You don’t like Bobby Jay?”
“Not really. He’s not like my kid.”
“No… no he’s very different from James. Most grown ups don’t like Bobby Jay, but kids sure do. They think he’s funny!” That’s why I created him, to make kids laugh.
“Well, he sure doesn’t make me laugh! Say, can you rub my heart, there. I think he left a bruise!”
A chuckle slips from my throat, “Oh, Chair. I will miss you.”
“What? Wait a minute! What do you mean by that? Where am I going? Hey! Hello?”