Father and Son

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.

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