Morgan Michaels


The Used Chair Dealer


'She sat in a tulip chair, unclad, reading something-
a blue-cornered National Geographic atlas, I think it was.
Every so often a page of white light turned across her bosom.
She talked about places she wanted to go, the sunny window behind her
darkened with red and green trumpet flowers.
Her chin made a little bowl-shaped shadow on her chest'.

'Wait a minute, what kind of chair'?

'A tulip chair. Beautifully upholstered, striped silver and black,
looking brand new after seven years.
Her legs were crossed at the knees and hung over the side.
Her toe twitched as she read'.

'God, I haven't seen a tulip chair in years.
I didn't know they still made them.

'This one came from Carolina, I think. Great reading chair. Anyway, her skin was as white as Parian marble, or snow or something, and her fingernails were painted a sort of maroon, as were her toes.
She practically steamed'.

'Hm. Henredon's in South Carolina. 'Bet it was from Henredon. What'd'it cost'?

'Then? Mm, about four-hundred retail, give or take fifty. She was twenty-three and smoked lightly.
Her face was still a bud- not even open yet.
Her toe kept twitching, twitching'.

'Hm. what happened to that chair? Do you still have it?
A chair like that's gotta be worth something'.

I gave it to the carpenter when we moved, three years ago.
There was just no room. He put in the bookcases.
I begged her to stay. I told her she could live free-
even see other men, if she chose.
I told her I'd buy her fresh flowers every week.
She could have an expense account of her own.
She smiled and said it was good, and came back often
but in the end went back to her rich husband.
Can you beat that'?

'You gave it away? Fool. Do you still have his number'?

'I didn't know him'.

'I mean the carpenter'!

'Oh, sure, want it?

'Absolutely. They're hard to find- good tulip chairs'.

Submitted: Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Edited: Thursday, September 19, 2013

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