In childhood we had a school chair, dark wood, with many deep scratches made by children, desk attached including circular hole for ink bottle, a drawer underneath for books. In youth we had a hammock in which you could lie and roll yourself round and round, becoming encased in hemp like an ampule. In young adulthood I had a bamboo swinging chair in the shape of a nutshell that hung from the ceiling facing a double set of windows. Sitting inside this chair I could look out over Central Park at three bronze equestrian statues – Simón Bolivar with one horse leg raised, Jose de San Martin, with two hooves raised high and General José Martí whose horse is rearing as it’s rider is, I think, mortally wounded. Nuclear Disarmament Protests went past that window and (taking a break from marching) I could sit in my chair and wave at my friends. In adulthood I had a large, soft, moss-green upholstered couch. It had a silver-dollar-size hole from a cigarette burn and – head to foot – two people could easily sleep on it. Within easy reach, an art deco coffee table covered with cobalt-blue glass. On top of the glass, an ashtray almost as large as the glass filled with cigarette butts and burnt matches. The chairs pictured are my Greek chairs. Like Greece, they’ll endure, and will take me (I hope) through old age. They’re not comfortable except to look at while sitting or lying somewhere else.
“Do the chairs in your parlor seem empty and bare
Do you gaze at your doorstep and picture me there
Is your heart filled with pain, shall I come back again
Tell me dear, are you lonesome tonight?”
[From “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” words and music by Roy Turk & Lou Handman best when sung by Elvis Presley]