Friday, February 4, 2011

The Chair Ajar


Most people focus on the copper kettle, polished to perfection. The first thing I always notice is the Hitchcock chair, ajar, not as if someone just climbed out of it—no—it would be farther away from the table if that were the case.

I don’t remember how long his coat hung there—I know it was weeks and weeks, perhaps months before she removed it. Like his pillowcase. Like his distinguished silk ties in the closet, most of them keepsakes purchased in England on ‘business’ trips that everyone knew were romantic getaways.

I remember standing in front of their fireplace in April. Peach roses on the mantle. Chocolate dipped strawberries on the kitchen table. Fine champagne in Edinburgh Crystal. ‘I do’ in front of two witnesses.

The chair ajar. I know it hung on a chair in the kitchen. I know I saw it, but did my memory paint it over that chair when it might have hung over another? It’s coming up on fourteen years, and it’s hard to remember. But the boyish grin, sanctioning new love, I will never forget.


This piece doesn’t actually qualify as flash fiction, inasmuch as it’s true…

25 comments:

  1. If only it were fiction..."Stunning" it is.

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  2. Thanks PJ.

    And Sharon, yes, I wish it were fiction (except for the getting married there part).

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  3. I love this! I'm imagining Proust writing about that chair position for ten pages, LOL. Those details that reveal so much are spectacular!

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  4. Thank you Domey! Even if I hadn't painted it (or arranged the table and chair exactly as I did when I photographed them) I would have noticed the chair's position.

    Sometimes--and it applies to writing I think as much as painting--it's what is NOT there that can make as much of a statement.

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  5. It's not fiction? My, you weave a richness into your truths.

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  6. Touching. The emotions are well shown here.

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  7. Lydia, thank you. I suppose it's that authenticity we talk about as writers. Sometimes I struggle so with words, but in this case, I had no hesitation.

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  8. Susan, it is an emotional piece for me. I can't read it without getting choked up...

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  9. Very nice! Love the descriptions and emotions.

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  10. Sina, thanks for your kind words :)

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  11. Hmmm...yes...I like that Bryan. Flash memoir. Thanks :)

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  12. That was lovely! So glad I stumbled on your blog to read it. New follower:)

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  13. Lindsay, Thank you--and I'm glad you stumbled by! Hope you'll come back soon!

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  14. This is beautiful! Both the writing and the picture. Talk about poignant! Thank you so much for sharing this.

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  15. Thank you Michelle. I think Deb (whose kitchen it is) agrees about both the writing and the painting. Far more poignant for her...

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  16. Hi JB!... Found your stunning and thought-provoking site thru' my good friend Todd Bonita's site - stroke of Providence... if "You" believe in that sort of thing!Both your painting and your writing styles are very captivating!

    "We" are all "Lighthouses"... each with our very own special "Light". Together... we light the world with Hope and Optimism..."You" in your small corner... and "I" in mine!

    Keep shinin! I'll be checkin' in!
    Warm regards,
    Bruce Sherman

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  17. Bruce,
    A providential stroke indeed! Thank you so much for coming by and taking the time to leave such kind words--you have definitely 'lit' a bleak February day!

    All the best to you!
    Bridget

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  18. This is reflective beauty of the soul.

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  19. ...and that is a lovely sentiment...Thank you Craig...

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  20. Thanks Writing Nut--or shall I call you W.N. or...just Nut, lol. Thanks for stopping by :)

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  21. "jarring" from many angles...words on equal scale to the painting... exceptional

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  22. Actually, Glenn, Yes, I did choose that title for more than just the chairs position. To me, the word 'ajar' has an emotionally rattling feel to it. It's sharp and abrupt...That's the effect it had on all of us...still does...

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