I WRESTLE THE CHAIR into my car and take it to the repair shop, thinking, on the way there, of the chairs turned upside down in my father’s workshop all those years ago.
So many years.
So many chairs.
So many kids in that house being told
“Feet on the floor, not on chair rungs.”
It did no good.
There was always a chair being hauled to the basement for fixing.
Always one out of circulation.
Always one being brought back up,
set in place,
and stern warnings newly issued,
near-threats to life and limb.
But life and limb survived
and here I am, traveling through town with a chair in my back seat.
I was forever down there in the basement,
following him around,
just to see what was going on,
just for conversation,
just to feel safe.
And it seems like he was forever standing over things turned upside down, trying to set them right.
He was the glue.
* * *
I AM PULLED OUT of my workshop memory by the need to find my way.
“If you’ve gone as far as the Baptist Church, you’ve gone too far,”
the man on the phone said.
(a clever title for something, that)
And there it is. I turn onto the stone driveway, park and wrestle the chair back out of the car. A man comes rushing out to help me. People are always rushing to help me now that I look like somebody’s grandmother. And I’m just starting to get the hang of letting them. 🙂
Into the dimly-lit workroom we go.
Furniture stacked on furniture.
The secret recesses of a furniture hospital.
I love to troll through these places
where real work is done.
“Now let’s see what we have here,”
and the first thing he does
is turn my chair
I haven’t stopped smiling.
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