Posted Monday, July 11th, 2005
Pop brought home a rocker from Paradise Parlour, which was not a second hand furniture shop. My sister was seven months due. My mother said junk smelling like a thousand unwashed bums wasnít welcome. It didnít rock. It squeaked, as it lurched drunkenly to the left. She didnít want a repository of other peopleís bodily fluids in her house, she said, glaring at my sister.
In the countdown to his first grandchild, Pop performed open-heart surgery on that chair. He unpicked the upholstery, threw out the brittle foam. The dog chewed it, littering the living room. Pop replaced a broken strut with a piece of the old banister that had lain in the woodpile for years. He bought a new spring and three yards of industrial denim to staple a new cover in place.
When he was done, the chair sang and danced and smelled of cotton. Blue dye rubbed off on my hands where I gripped to ride it. But my sister was superstitious. She refused to sit in it. She cried when my father forced her to.
Later they tried open-heart surgery on the baby. It worked better on the rocker. My sister said the chair remembers how it stole her luck.
Comments [post a comment]
Posted by Claudia Smith on Monday, July 11th, 2005 at 3:03 PM
There is so much here, in so few words. This is a beautiful flash.
Posted by Patricia Moed on Monday, July 11th, 2005 at 3:29 PM
I love the analogy--open heart surgery for both the chair and the baby. You need an open heart to sit in a rocker and hold a baby in your arms! Thanks for this.
Posted by Elaine Little on Monday, July 11th, 2005 at 4:08 PM
A really sweet piece, Liesl!
Posted by Myfanwy Collins on Tuesday, July 12th, 2005 at 8:55 AM
This is amazing, Liesl.
Posted by Katrina Denza on Tuesday, July 12th, 2005 at 3:06 PM
So sad. What fine writing this is, Liesl.
Posted by Maryanne McCollister on Tuesday, July 12th, 2005 at 11:32 PM
Touching story, Liesl.
Posted by Tomi Shaw [ firstname.lastname@example.org
] on Wednesday, July 13th, 2005 at 12:24 AM
Devastating, Liesl. Damn.
Posted by Hugh Hodge on Wednesday, July 13th, 2005 at 3:14 AM
Thank you for sharing this, Liesl.
Posted by d buter on Wednesday, July 13th, 2005 at 8:29 AM
Beautiful and sad.
Posted by Gerard C. Smith on Wednesday, July 13th, 2005 at 9:54 AM
Wow Lisel. This is a great story.
Posted by Kathy Fish on Wednesday, July 13th, 2005 at 10:13 AM
Oh Liesl, this is excellent.
Posted by Richard Cooper on Wednesday, July 13th, 2005 at 12:58 PM
Liesl, thanks for writing this excellent flash.
Posted by debbie ice on Wednesday, July 13th, 2005 at 2:27 PM
Oh so economical and full of heart. Very good, Liesl.
Posted by Michael Ripley on Wednesday, July 13th, 2005 at 3:45 PM
Wonderfully written Liesl.
Posted by Michelle Flye on Thursday, July 14th, 2005 at 9:07 AM
Excellent. The beauty of simplicity.
Posted by Miriam Kotzin on Thursday, July 14th, 2005 at 12:53 PM
Ach! Nice work. So much in the "She cried when my father forced her to."
Posted by Bill West on Thursday, July 14th, 2005 at 6:37 PM
Love the precision of the twist in the last paragraph Liesl.
Posted by Philip Rader on Thursday, October 5th, 2006 at 3:27 PM
Eerie and wonderful flash, Liesl. Paradise Parlour...hmmmmmm.