Memories Sitting in a Chair
There are many things we remember, he thinks, as we get older and our memories come and go, sometimes slowly, and sometimes like flashing lights. Of all the things he remembers, the one material thing that comes to him the most is chairs. He is not quite sure why, since it could be anything. Not cars, or clothing, or specific rooms, but chairs. Chairs, and the memories attached to them, come to him as alive and present as if he could almost touch them.
The first chair he remembers, is the first chair he owned. In his memory, he must be two or three, and he sees his father, mother, and two older sisters in front of him sitting at the round table. They are talking and smiling at him, and he can only say a few words, of course, or maybe he doesn’t say anything, but he laughs with them. He is sitting in a wooden high chair, so he is slightly taller than everyone else, and his mother next to him feeds him rice and shredded chicken. Later, as a teenager, he would see the chair somewhere in a storage room in his house, and wonder why his parents still keep it.
The boy in his memories is a teenager now, sitting in front of his very first girlfriend, hoping she doesn’t end it. But she does, and he thinks it is the end of something that felt like love. She sits in front of him, in a coffee shop, where many teenagers before and after him had and will have their hearts broken, why always coffee shops? He asks himself, almost whispering. She sits in front of him, in a metal chair with a green felt back, even the chairs in coffee shops are meant for break ups.
He closes his eyes now, and the many chairs of his life fly through his mind, as if they were marching somewhere, in a big hurry. The chairs run, and he tries to catch one or two, to keep them for another minute, to keep the existence of their memories for another minute, but they are running, and he is too old to run now.
He opens his eyes and turns to his left, and there she is. Sitting in a British colonial rosewood caned chair, with her arms resting on the arms of the chairs, holding a book. She is there, and he can touch her, he can smell her, and suddenly she turns to him and smiles. He may be too old to chase the memories, but not too old to enjoy love, sitting next to him in a nice old chair.