Saturday, June 20, 2015


In the room that I loosely refer to as my study----a term I employ I know because my dad used the same label to refer to the tiny place where his desk sat----in my study there is a reclining chair.

I bought it several years ago on sale at Macy's. It was really a bargain. It doesn't match anything in the house--and is not nearly as attractive as the stressless chair I once splurged for that now, against my will but consistent with my dispassionate judgment, sits in our basement.  The stressless chair has been reassigned to the basement because it is "shot to hell" (another of dad's phrases) and I no longer could muster much of an argument regarding why this blight should remain in our living room even if it was the most comfortable chair ever.

Back to the other chair in the study.  It is big and green and it reclines back in three positions.  Its green is the kind of green that explains why Macy's had it sitting in a room with several orphans of less than "buy me" hues.  Sort of like crab apple green.  Still it is a comfortable chair and when I saw it I knew I would get little grief about buying a crab apple green chair because I intended to put it in a corner of my study which would be off everybody's beat, except mine.  It is hardly the worst looking recliner I have bought. Once in Buffalo, I bought a recliner at a garage sale.  I loved it. It had one of those buzzer gizmos that would make it shake if you switched it on. But it really was disheveled. I brought a girlfriend up to the room once and when she took a glance at that thing, I swear my stock went down like a rock.

Back to the green chair. I am not sitting in it now. Rather I am sitting on a swivel chair I bought at Office Depot for writing on my computer. It also allows me to swivel 90 degrees to address the mounds of items on my desk that need, on Saturday morning, attention so that one could see the bottom of the desk top.  I marvel on Saturday mornings at how such varied items get to the top of my desk. A quick glance 90 degrees to my right, right now, and I see my car keys--that makes sense sort of--but an empty shoebox, a coaster, one of those neck braces you buy in an airport that never helps me sleep but I bought once on a long trip.  I think I did not deposit that brace there, but it has made its way to my desk when Donna in a--I-give-up, I-find-this-thing-in-every-room-in-the-house moment picked it up, deposited on my desk with an invisible note--"you bought it. find a place for this already."    I see a coffee cup and a shot glass--an odd juxtaposition except I know that they did not arrive concurrently.  There are several pieces of paper that are in something of a to-do pile. Other stuff too.

The desk is not alone in its function of a repository for items on Saturday that need to be picked up. You could, if you were so inclined, determine exactly what I wore to work this week by picking up the various slacks and jackets here and there.  You might not be able to match them up, but you could tell that I wore certain pants and shirts. You'd have to guess to figure out what went with what, but it's all there, as are the shoes of the week, and at least one hanger that in my haste to yank a shirt out of the closet fell on the rug.

But back to the green reclining chair and the reason for this sobering blog.

Sometimes, like this morning, I awaken very early and I know that if I try a number of ploys I might be able to go back to sleep.  Some of my tricks are head games like, who are the teams in the American Football Conference. If I am still awake when I can rattle them off, I think of the quarterbacks for the teams. If that does not work, I try to recall if I have ever been to the cities where the teams play. Games like these will sometimes help me find the zs.  Others too.  Who was on the 25 man roster for the 1969 Met World Series?  Stuff like that.

The trick that works the best is reading.  If I pick up a book that I've remembered to put by the bed, attempt to maneuver the little personal light that I can attach to the book, and read a few pages, usually I can get to a point when my lids get heavy.  Problem sometimes is I forget to put the book by the bed and I don't want to get up and go look around for it. Also, the little gizmo personal light has to be just right or there is not enough light to read. When we bought the sconces above the bed we thought we were buying the kind that could be switched on individually. The electrician told us we were incorrect when he installed them which may be true, or it may be that he could not figure out how to do it.  Anyway if I put the sconces on, everybody's reading.

So, the chair, and my somber mood.

This, what happened this morning, happens every single time.

I am in bed, I decide to read to go back to sleep, I don't have the book near the bed, and don't want to deal with the tiny lighting gizmo anyway.  I decide to get up, get the book and sit on the green recliner in the room across the hall, and read. I figure only ten pages might do it. I'll be ready to snooze by 5 am. dropping my head into the book at about 455.   I imagine myself sitting in the alcove and reading.

Except the chair is not in the alcove. About two years ago, my buddy Kenny was up and we moved the chair. It used to be in the alcove, now it is adjacent to the desk facing an old tv set I have perched up in another corner of the "study."

Yet every single time I think of sitting in the chair I imagine sitting in the alcove.  Every single time.

So big deal.

It 's not a big deal, except at 4am it seems to be.

Things are not as they were. Time elapses.  And loved ones are not where they had been for years. Parents, friend, sweetheart, family.  The google map of your personal universe is not in place. The movie theatre is now a CVS. Your parents are dead.  The candy store is now a Dunkin Doughnuts. You can't sit in that chair, because that chair is not there.  Ciri can tell you where it is if you want to dial her up, but you can figure it out yourself.  It is the realization that filial, fraternal, and emotional love is not where it was and realization of where it is--not the ignorance of where it is--that makes returning to slumber a challenge. Yo Boychik. The chairs are not there.

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