IN MY OPINION
Books Read in 2007
Mefeedia Video Archive
I BROKE MY MOTHER'S CHAIR
8 February 2007
It's 4:30 a.m. and I am waiting for my mother's light to go off so I can get up and write this entry because I feel terrible and what I do when I feel terrible is write, but I'm not ready to face her yet this morning.
I broke my mother's chair.
The big chair.
The chair that is best for "big men."
But I am too big for the big man chair. I hate being obese. I hate fearing that I am going to break a chair. I hate even more breaking it.
I have known for years that I would ultimately break this chair. Every time I lifted the foot rest on it, a tiny thought would flit through my mind: you are too big for this chair. You shouldn't be sitting in it.
And now the terrible thing has happened: I have broken my mother's chair.
The chair that was her beloved husband's. The chair that his son always sits in when he is here because he is a big man and that is a big man's chair. I have broken my mother's big man chair.
After my night of insomnia, I was nervous about going to sleep. Someone who came to the meeting the other day brought my mother a big stuffed gorilla, whom she thinks is ugly and I think is beautiful. He reminds me of KoKo, the gorilla who talks in American sign language.
I called him Chester, but I didn't tell my mother that. I don't know why I called him Chester. I guess he looked like a Chester.
When I settled myself on the couch with the big knitted afghan and my Sheila blanket, I picked Chester up and held him in my arms. Something comforting about having something to cuddle, though I thought how ludicrous it must look, a nearly 64 year old woman huddled under a pile of blankets cuddling a stuffed gorilla.
I fell asleep almost instantly, and when I awoke, I felt refreshed. I just knew that Chester had helped me have a much more deep sleep than usual. I figured it was about 5 a.m.
It was not.
It was 2 a.m.
My back, now, had the usual "you've been lying down long enough" feel, so I moved to the recliner, taking Chester with me. Again, I went to sleep instantly, my face snuggled up against the top of Chester's head.
It's funny, but even in my half-sleep state, I knew when I broke the chair. I knew that I was trying, in my sleep, to get out of the chair and that the afghan was caught under one side. I felt the foot rest twist, and I knew I had broken my mother's chair.
It was now 4:30 and her light was on, but I couldn't face her. I tried desperately to bend the foot rest back into place. Please, let it just click in place once more and I promise I won't lift it ever, ever again.
But it was good and twisted and wasn't going to budge for me.
I had broken my mother's chair.
I sat on the couch, my head buried in the folds of Chester's neck and I stared off into space, waiting for my mother's light to turn off. I had to write all of this down.
I was transported back to grammar school days when Father Joe had returned from Mexico with some marble bookends shaped like horse heads for my mother. She loved them but while she was out, I bumped against the table, knocking one to the floor and breaking it.
I am a klutz. Ask Peggy. She used to make me wait outside stores when she went in because she knew I would bump into things.
When the bookend broke, I fell to the floor, rolled into a ball and howled, rocking back and forth. I had broken my mother's book end. How could I admit it to her.
That's kind of how I feel now, though I'm slightly (only slightly) more mature and haven't fallen to the floor howling. Instead I sat in the dark, my head buried in the fur of a stuffed gorilla named Chester and prayed for my mother to turn off the light and go back to sleep so I could get up, turn on my computer and write an entry confessing that I broke my mother's chair because I wasn't ready to face her yet.
I still don't know how I'm going to be able to tell her, though that's kind of a moot point. The twisted foot rest that will no longer lock into place will be a surefire give-away.
I broke my mother's chair. I hate myself.
She slept late, after reading until nearly 6. I sat in the dark, after writing this, and hugged Chester. I finished the unwatched vlogs on my iPod and listened to the last of NPR's "Morning Stories" (great podcast, BTW--I recommend it).
As it started to get light, I tried once again to bend, by sheer force of will and my puny muscles, the foot rest back into shape again, but I would have needed Superman. Or Ned.
I started coffee and then went to feed the birds and get the paper. She was sitting on the edge of her bed wiping the sleep from her eyes. I gave a big gulp, told her good morning and then said the fateful words:
"I broke your chair last night." I explained how it happened.
"Good," she laughed. "I've been thinking about getting rid of that chair for a long time. Now I'll have to really do it."
I love my mother.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
This is entry #2506