? SLAB | Sound & Literary Art Book

Issue 8


Laura Ramos

Empathy from Upholstery

Some chairs are better to sit in when receiving bad news.
Molded plastic lawn chairs are appropriate for learning you
must serve burnt steak at the block party or that the litter of
bunnies you watched from the kitchen window was magicsliced
by the neighbor’s riding mower. Overstuffed settees
are ideal for insulating the sucker-punch of being asked for
a divorce. Or telling the children that Daddy disappeared into
a bottle-shaped organ. What of high-backed dining chairs?
They are best suited for disclosing unplanned pregnancies
at suppertime after soccer practice. So naturally, I am suspicious
when you hand me the furniture catalog, and there’s
an inviting wingchair dog-eared on page 36, begging me to
come rest awhile in its arms.