Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The Chair. It is not an old chair. It is a pitiful chair, with little to speak of for color or style, and less to speak of for support. "Loath" may be too harsh a word, because the chair is too sad to actually loath. A month ago a considerate friend asked whether I had a comfortable chair in which to sit (read: Live) while nursing the baby. Specifically, she asked, "Does it recline?" and I had to laugh, because I could picture the chair in the bedroom, and I thought: No, it does not recline. Rather it declines. It declines to be particularly comfortable without many well placed pillows and strategically rolled blankets. It declines to rock without making horrendous squeaks. It declines to swivel, because of space constraints and poor engineering. And overall it is in decline. The springs are nearly sprung, and the frame is sort of spreading, the base seems to be losing its integrity too. The seat cushion can't be blamed for its poor service, since the rest of the chair is so little inclined to do its part.

This inherited chair fits in the small space beneath the window, to the left of the crib and beside the bed. During the day I move it six inches back , so I can walk to the crib, and at night I pull it toward the bed so that I can extend my legs across the bed, while I feed the baby. Poor chair. It is not a good chair, and yet it fits. And it is in this chair that I sit with my daughter, nursing her, smelling her, tracing the curve of her cheek, down to her chins. The chair is where I will be tonight when Maria wakes up, and we will sit together beneath the outdoor Christmas lights that twinkle through the window. Her eyes shimmer, she grunts and stretches, she burps and sighs, she startles and delights me with the reality of her presence. I'll shift and the chair will make an awful metallic grind, and I'll pull a pillow up to support my back, and another for my neck. I most likely won't spend a day shopping for another chair that will fit and recline, rock quietly and leave me feeling relaxed and aligned. And I don't have a great insight to share about any of this; no poetic ending to make any of this worth reading. I'm going upstairs now. Goodnight.

Maria and mom, in their chair.

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