He was nondescript, innocuous. He named his dog Dog. His cat was called Cat. He grew daring with his parakeet and named it Wings. He wore beige from head to toe. Even his Sunday best, his “weddings and funerals suit” he called it, was beige. People wondered if his underwear was beige. He swore that it was, but with just enough of a smirk people couldn’t be certain. His house was painted beige as were his roof shingles. His car was beige inside and out. All his furniture was pine or a light oak. When he died, they found a note with instructions on the funeral, the burial, every detail, on beige paper, of course. And they found the beige suit bag in the closet with the rainbow colored suit that he was to be buried in.
She maintained an aura of what she
imagined was elegance, a carefully
constructed persona carried out
in the most careful details.
Her furniture had slipcovers, lest
someone spill and mar the fabric,
a tea cart always at the ready
although I never saw her serve tea.
She spoke with carefully chosen
words, certainly not the vernacular
of the city, perhaps of London
where she had been born.
Those she met would never guess
that this was the same woman, who
on the death of her husband, wielded
a baseball bat in the liquor store
she operated in the heart of downtown,
one she had used on one occasion
once enough that the word got out.
I still have grave doubts
about designers in general, clothing
houses in more particular,
and above all furniture.
You have to ask if the person
who designed this chair
was somehow incapable of sitting,
or simply wanted something
that looked artistic, to hell
with the comfort of its occupant.
And some designers take this
to extremes, hoping perhaps
for some measure of eternal recognition.
Take for example the Adirondack chair,
found throughout the northeast
on porches and in yards,
in a myriad of colors,
that no one ever seems
to sit on, for good reason.
Last week it was hers
but we felt it ours, and wondered
why her furniture, her life
was impinging on this “our-ness.”
Today it is ours and empty,
and it has a deep sense
of “whose-ness,” where we can
see how easily “ours-ness” might return.
Next week it will be our home
and we will impose our us-ness on it
and it will bend to our will
as we will bend to its,
in the marriage will be complete.