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Feb 20

Ode to chair

by in Everyday Journeys

I found you in a op shop on South Road. They no longer had use for you, but I did. You were the very first piece of furniture I bought. You were the wooden embodiment of the hope that one day I would move out of home, have a place of my own, throw fancy dinner parties with dear friends drinking wine out of real wine glasses.

You became my constant companion. In my little room, you sat beside my bed, holding glasses of water and the books read before I fall asleep, dreaming of a bigger world beyond these four safe walls of home. You graduated to become my telephone chair in Station Street where I would sit for hours sharing the many highs and several lows that would make up my early twenties. I asked so many questions and found so many answers, seated on your hard slats.

Then we moved to Clowes Street, falling in love with the secret life of us. Friends would drop in on a constant basis, and so many would seat themselves on you. You weren’t particularly comfortable, in fact you are still to this day a little rickety, but there was something inviting about your simplicity. You seem to remind us that even when life was getting complicated, we were going to be okay. Simple and plain, it was as if you allowed life to happen around you without fuss.

You earned your sea faring legs when we left Australia for Hong Kong. I was growing out of my own skin, yet you were my constant. My sturdy friend, by my bedside again. Even as I bought my first grown up couch, dining table and all the trappings of adult life, I took solace that each night I would rest my journals on you, and you would keep them safe until the morning. In Caine Road you saw me fall in love with English Hubby. You overheard the many late night conversations I had with my dearest friends. You saw my best ever flat mate, K, come and then go. You’d listen patiently as I recounted adventures to my friends back home and probably even chuckled when I was conferencing S and B for help with that infamous ‘do I make the bed’ predicament!

You earned another stamp in your passport, taking a leap with me to New York. I followed my heart, and I knew even if it ends up broken, you would be there for me to rest my weary soul. For you are my reminder that I am grounded, just like the tree from which you were made. We’ve gone from west side to east side of Manhattan island. You’ve held my handbags over your shoulder, to the point where it is worn smooth. Today you are part of my private space in a teeny tiny apartment. A place mine alone where I can sit and pay bills, write emails and keep life spinning along.

I know you are just a thing, an object. To everyone else you are ugly, worn and about to fall apart. But in spite of the years you still hold it together. Perhaps in some strange way, even hold me together. Somehow when I look back, you’ve helped me stand on my own two feet, sometimes offering four more to keep me firmly planted.

As I write this, I cannot fathom why I’m even considering throwing ¬†you away. Even as your very comfortable replacement has been paid for and is making its way to our apartment as we speak. It feels wrong, like discarding an old passport. Each scratch and scuff is a chronicle of our journey, and I wonder what else you will see in the years to come. I now know I still need the thought of you, and I am not ready to let you go.

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