Monday, May 16, 2005

the chair that haunts me

If Woody Allen had been born 29 weeks premature, this is where he would have sat.

This is what I’m thinking now—staring at a tiny director’s chair in the display window of a novelty store—but only to keep from thinking of you. (Last night I dreamed I was at my grandparents’ anniversary bash, and you were the waiter. You brought a huge shiny silver tray of cheesecake crowned with berries to our table but I never got to have any).

The chair is 10cm tall, made of balsa wood and green canvas. The word ‘director’ is stencilled across its back in black. You’d like it. At least, I think you would. Your with your nose constantly in film mags at work. You with your preference for subtlety and heart onscreen (you loved Eternal Sunshine but said that Being John Malkovich left you cold. You revelled in Lost In Translation and called it a "slow-burner"). You who told me last night that you’re despairing of finishing the short film your currently working on before your lead actor goes to San Diego to study drama.

Its your birthday next Monday. I know we don’t do presents as a rule, but I wanted to buy this for you (inbetween thoughts of cheesecake and Woody Allen). Its the kind of thoughtfully specific gift that says something more than the sum of its parts. If chairs could talk, this one would say it all for me.

This chair would say: "Happy Birthday," because its a polite, well-brought-up chair that understands the social importance of small talk.

And because it also understands that there is a time for honesty and clarity, the chair would then say: "I enjoy our conversations. I get you."

Because the chair knows that no human is truly happy unless they follow their bliss, it would add: "I believe in you. You can do anything you want."

Then, in a moment of weakness, the chair might go too far and say: "I like you. More than I want to. When we stood in the car park the other night and talked about your plans for your birthday weekend and when we’d see each other next, I fantasised about following you back to the silver Mitsubishi you'd borrowed from a friend and doing unspeakable things to you in the back seat."

The chair is a slut. The chair totally embarrassed itself and for what? It is not in full possession of the facts. It has forgotten that I leave for Europe in a couple of weeks, and that you leave on a indefinately long working holiday in England less than two months after my return. And it is conveniently ignoring the fact that we have a very close mutual friend (you and I, not me and the chair) who—although she has agreed with you that it is over, and has found many men since to occupy her time—is not over you.

The chair is an idiot.

I scowl at it and walk out of the shopping centre in broad, determined strides. My steps contain only a hint of wistfulness, visible only to those who are looking for it.


Blogger transience said...

calaloola, let me just say that when you write, every single damn thing in this body of mine shudders to take a breath. such beautiful, fluid writing that tells the stories i want to tell but can't. may whatever it is in europe find you inspired and happy of heart.

Tue May 17, 12:24:00 am 2005  
Blogger Cocaine Jesus said...

transience is right. beautiful words. rounded and lyrical. excellent.

Tue May 17, 09:50:00 pm 2005  
Blogger jet said...

hey c-girl,
get on with it already!!
i'm telling you, opportunities arise only so often. take it now before you regret it.
future travel plans or no future travel plans.
imagine if it was meant to be.
and if it is meant to be, it will work itself out.
so there.
ps. got some dodgy pics of us after brekkie in melbs. i will send them down. xx

Wed May 18, 08:58:00 pm 2005  
Blogger Calaloola said...

trans: thankye :) its always nice to hear encouragement. and its funny how writing about things and putting it "out there" somehow validates the experience. suddenly i'm smiling at myself and chalking it up to life experience, rather than wallowing in self pity.

i blog therefore... i'll get over it :)

cocaine jesus: thanks for stopping by and your lovely words. hope you'll visit again.

jet: hey hey! one day, you and i will have a long chat about why this *really* won't work. i'm not being a wimp, i swear! it really is messy. messier than it sounds in the blog. and humiliation in your workplace is never fun. but do send on those pics! my eyes are shut in the one we took on my camera ;P

Thu May 19, 01:30:00 am 2005  
Blogger finnegan said...

Calaloola, I love the flow of this post. It keeps the momentum from first sentence to last, which is not an easy thing to sustain.

Tue May 24, 04:10:00 am 2005  
Blogger Calaloola said...

hey finnegan! good to see you again. and its great to get writerly feed back from you guys, too. its just like being in one of my workshop sessions at school... in a good way :)

Tue May 24, 12:03:00 pm 2005  
Blogger Jay said...

I absolutely adore your posts. They make me small and think and remember. And then I want to read it all over again.

Mon May 30, 08:12:00 pm 2005  

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