evannichols (evannichols) wrote,

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A Man's Chair Is His Chair

As long as I can remember, my father has had His Chair. All of the other furniture in the house was on a first-come-first-serve basis, but when he wanted to sit in His Chair, anyone who was using it would have to surrender it to him. That's just the way it was, and we accepted that....

The current incarnation of His Chair is not a particularly impressive one. It reclines, although to do so, one must get up, go around to the back of it and adjust the metal bar on which the back rests. The chair is wood with a cushioned seat and back, but it's not very comfortable. It's low, so it's not as easy for him to get in and out of. And for a foot rest, he uses a small wooden stool that one of us built in junior-high woodshop about three decades ago.

Which is all very odd, because my father spends a lot of time in His Chair. Do you remember the "Twilight Zone" episode about the guy who survives to be the last man on Earth because he's in the library, and he's overjoyed because he finally can read to his heart's content? My father's like that (without the obligatory tragic breaking of the glasses). My Ur-image of my father is him sitting in His Chair, reading, then dozing off, and waking up to read some more. He probably spends almost as much time in his chair reading as I spend at the computer (i.e., A Lot).

When Stonecarrier moved in with our parents, he brought his chair with him. It's a custom-made, Mission-style recliner. It's robust and comfortable; one can easily tilt back and sleep in it, if desired. My father prefers sitting in Stonecarrier's chair, but according to Chair Rules, is supposed to relinquish it when Stonecarrier wishes to sit there. I don't think they actually fight over it, but it's an issue.

We were discussing this while I was there last weekend, and Stonecarrier suggested that we siblings all go in on purchasing a chair like his as a gift. Our father is retired on a fixed income, and there's no way he'd buy a nice, new chair for himself when he had a functional, albeit uncomfortable, one. Right away, I said yes. I mean, it's exactly what he wants, but he'd never buy for himself; Perfect, no? Stonecarrier will take our father to pick out the exact style and fabric, and he'll have his New Chair in a couple months, for his birthday. This chair should last my father the rest of his life, however long that may be.

I imagine him reclined in his new chair, with his feet up. A book is open in his hand, but his eyes are closed. His head is comfortably supported as he dozes. When he wakes up, he'll find his book right there, and he'll read until he feels like napping again. And that image makes me very happy.
Tags: family

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