And now, the story of the mystery chair:
As some of you know (and some don’t), the house I live in is the house I grew up in. After my mother and I moved out of it, onto our separate lives, the house stood empty. After six years, I purchased said home from my mother and my family and I moved in and promptly started taking down the ugly wallpaper and sponge painted borders that had tormented me through childhood (the faux-stone plastic paneling in the living room was particularly hideous).
Part of this remodel involved the basement, as I previously mentioned. And in this basement lies the Mystery Chair.
I don’t remember ever seeing the Mystery Chair in our home as I was growing up. My mother has no clear recollection of it, either. But, when we went into the house after it had stood empty for six years, we found the Mystery Chair sitting, alone and forlorn, in the basement.
The Mystery Chair is an arm chair that looks as though it originated in that “different colors of rough, waffle-woven, homespun yarn in pastel colors as upholstery is a glamorous idea for any living room furniture” phase of the nineties. The shape is squat and modern, the colors don’t match anything. It is too big to remove in one piece; it is wider than the only door to the basement.
I have three theories about this chair, and how it got into the basement without us knowing or having a hand in it:
- Someone broke into the vacant house, pulled up a section of floor, carefully lowered the chair down to the basement, then replaced the floorboards and relaid the carpet in such a way that their deed would not be noticed upon casual inspection of the floor, but would make a great impact when said hideous chair was found.
- The chair has always been there. Wrapped up in our own lives and every day drama, the chair stayed, neglected, unnoticed, until such a time as all of our crap was moved out and we were forced to confront the reality of the chair. Furthermore, the chair was placed in the basement prior to the construction of the house, which was built around the chair.
- Some point in our basement behaves in the same manner as the area around the event horizon of a black hole, and all the particles of the chair popped into our physical space when they disappeared from another location. For example, the chair may have been in our neighbor’s house before its particles winked out of our known dimension and rematerialized in an area with a greater attractive force, ie, our basement. This black hole theory would also explain the disappearance of my REM Monster Tour t-shirt with Michael Stipe looking romantically angsty and defeated on it that went suddenly missing in high school.
Any way you slice it, I don’t want to get rid of this chair. Is it ugly? Yes. Does its sudden appearance baffle me? Most certainly so. But it is the most comfortable chair ever to lovingly cradle my flat, white butt. Which opens up a world of paranoia all of its own:
- Is the chair’s comfort a plot to ensnare me, helpless, before the television to watch episode after episode of E! True Hollywood Story? Is it actually a sophisticated hologram beamed into my family room by the television networks to guarantee that I will be watching?
- Is the chair actually a demonic entity, lulling me into a false sense of security before one day successfully draining my soul and feasting up on it as I writhe in agony, tormented by visions of my misdeeds?
- Could the chair have been placed here by aliens as a calming amnesiac device to remove all memory of the horrible experiments they subject me to nightly?
All I know is, I don’t want to get rid of this chair. It is a part of me, as I am a part of creation, all of the earth and sky.