Fraught with possibilities. That’s what this place is. Just fraught.
I need an office break. I have been drawing waterproofing details for hours, on a program of the same vintage as my first Space Invaders game on Atari. The sun is out. Downtown calls.
I trot a few blocks to my favorite place to blow half an hour on imagining possibilities, re-writing some archaic thing’s life story, and rummaging through badass record albums. Last time I found Voulez-Vous by Abba, and had to hang it on my wall.
And there, in the back room of Father and Son on Hargett, I have an illicit love affair. With a midcentury modern, mod mod mod, faux Saarinen tulip table. And four chairs.
It starts so innocently. One of the chairs, the kind with arms and a red vinyl cushion, winks at me. I blush shyly, look away, and then turn back and meet its gaze. I wander over for a little conversation. ”Where are you from?” and “How long have you been hanging out at Father and Son?” and, I am ashamed to say, I am already thinking about what a perfect pair we would make, cuddled up together and sharing a coffee and the Arts and Leisure section of the New York Times….
Reason takes hold. There is no room in my life for such nonsense. Literally, I have to sell something out of this little house, before anything else can come in. It’s that full, and it’s that small.
I sidle up to the cashier to get this chair’s story- and am crestfallen. The story is, the chair is attached, married really, to three other chairs and a table.
Not my first “almost.” Sigh. Filled with regret, I go back to the office and try, really try, people, to devote myself to thinking about caulk. But we have already established that near-misses are a bit of a specialty with me lately, and I don’t want this to be another “If I had only….”
The next day, at high noon, I am stricken with the sudden and certain knowledge that someone with more decisiveness has spirited my mod white faux-Saarinen set away. I turn off Space Invaders and walk, briskly and purposefully, back to Father and Son, where I throw reason under the bus. I write a check, and I fall in love (really, wasn’t I in love already?) with all of them. They are a little dinged up; after all, “midcentury” refers to their birthday, not just the style- but they are so fab. They need, oh, $100 worth of noxious glossy enamel super-chick, hipster-chic, shiny white enamel, and a few hours’ work. In return, they will give me the following: dinner parties, and a new warm center to my home, and a place on which to rest a Coleman lantern next to which I will do a crossword puzzle in a power outage, and a place for flowers, and sculptures, and serious conversations, and candlelit glasses of wine.
Fraught, again, with possibilities.