Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Red Chair

Our old red upholstered chair--lovingly shredded by our cat menagerie over the years--sits in front of our house with a free sign taped to it.

With a slipcover, it would still be a good chair, but we felt the need for a change.

Without a slipcover, it would make a great chair for a dog.

All of our furniture is dog furniture, but not everyone lives that way.

Last night Annie thanked the red chair for all its service and felt bad about it sitting outside, replaced by our fancy new leather chair.

We bought the red chair 11 years ago in Seattle. It has also lived in two different houses in Santa Cruz and a storage facility, and now its last two years have been in our San Jose home.

I wrote my first novel sitting in it, my laptop perched on my lap.

Our neighborhood is a good place for free stuff. Just last week one of our neighbors put out a garden table with matching chairs that were gone in a matter of minutes.

When I lived in Japan--during the economic boom--people used to put perfectly good, almost new, appliances and furniture out in the street to be hauled away by the garbage trucks. We poor, teacherly gaigins (foreigners) would sneak off with these objects under cover of night and decorate our tiny, expensive apartments.

Alas, no one has taken the red, shredded chair yet. I crane my neck to peek out the window each time a car slows down. Maybe the chair will get lucky today and start a new life adventure.

* * *

Now that I've written about the chair, I'm going back to painstakingly creating a timeline for the novel I'm working on. I've read a lot about the time period and people I'm writing about. Now I just have to get my head around what happened when, exactly.

First the chaos, then the organization.

* * *

PS: The painting above is by Sandy Mastroni.
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