A Broken Orange Chair
‘Ok, we will start, we are only waiting for one more.’ our leader looks behind her at the large wall clock then down at her wrist. ‘Yes, we will begin’ She leans forward and hits a button that illuminates the white wall behind her. It shows a cartoon happy person with a speech bubble. HI, MY NAME IS……..I AM FROM…………
‘You’, she points at me, ‘we will start with you.’
‘Oh’, I put my keys in my lap and look up, ‘Hi My name is Elaine’.
‘Hi Elaine’, eight other voices greet me.
‘I’m from the North Shore’.
Nods of encouragement.
‘And tell us why you are here Elaine?’ our leader asks.
‘Well, I have an unhealthy obsession with chairs’. I admit, feeling a little hot.
The room fills with the sounds of shared experiences.
A pretty young blond two chairs away smiles,’ its ok I love chaise longue’
A lady seated in front turns to face me completely. ‘My husband said he was going to divorce me unless I stop buying chairs, how many?’
‘More than 10?’ she prompts.
‘Maybe 12ish’, I say in a small freak chair collecting voice.
‘I have over 30’ she confides, the room is impressed and makes a collective oooh sound.
Our leader is not impressed and makes us all guess at her total. ‘50? 150?’ we throw to the front
‘Ha Ha No, 340 plus’ she says triumphantly. ‘All different.’ We are all impressed,
I stop fiddling with my keys I know I am in the right place, I belong here.
The one more rushes into the room, ‘sorry, sorry, Google Maps took me the long way around, I have about six tufted button backs at the moment she pants.’
‘Welcome’ says our leader, ‘welcome. Tonight is week one of Mollies fast track 8 week upholstery class and my name is Antonia, I have taught over 7000 students.‘ I shift over to so the late student could get to the empty chair and give her a little wave, she blows air out through red lips and her fringe dances. I’m so hot she mouths. I scrunch my nose up and lift my shoulders a contained I’m so excited to be here thing. I looked at my sad orange chair with broken legs and imagine.
‘Hi, my name is Alison……..
I’ll let you know how it goes.