Do you have that one item that makes your bedroom or your apartment truly your own? Perhaps it’s a poster of Jim Morrison you’ve had since you were a teenager, or a TV you watch every night before bed, or a forty-year-old longboard you bought off a kid for fifty dollars that consumes an entire corner of your room. Hey, I’ve got one of those too. Regardless of what it is, surely this item exists. For me, it’s my grandfather’s brown velvet armchair. Nothing says welcome home like sitting in that chair and kicking your feet up. Tuesday, that chair arrived in my dorm room courtesy of my parents. Now, finally, my place feels complete.
A little back-story on the chair: as long as I can remember I was always fond of it. The first attraction was probably one of touch, it’s incredibly soft and when you are young, things like that draw your attention. I remember rubbing my cheek against it, the chair always smelled like my grandfather’s pipe tobacco. I also liked the color, sort of a dark chocolate, but in the sunlight it would reflect a few different shades of auburn. Another draw was that it spun and when you’re young that can provide hours of amusement. I remember sitting in the chair with my cousins and spinning it round and round until one of the adults would threaten us to quit it. Then we’d wait till they left the room and start it up again. The chair sat for years on my grandparents back porch, which was a tiny living room with a TV and a black iron fireplace. My grandfather would always sit in it when the grownups were talking. That was Pa’s chair.
Years flew by, eventually newer, better furniture forced the chair to be moved out on to the enclosed deck at the back of the house, a sort of limbo for all the things my grandmother refused to part with. You see, my grandmother is a terrible packrat, but that is a story in itself. There the chair sat for years, through my grandfather’s battle with cancer, after his death, through four years of high school, visit after visit, right up to the point my grandmother decided to sell the house. And then, with no place to go, the chair made its way out to the side of the road, ready to be forgotten.
I remember that day. Sitting on the steps of their house, watching it from where it sat on the side of the road, recalling all the times I’d seen my grandfather relaxing in the chair with his pipe. It made me sad. That was his chair, seeing it leave the family was like loosing a piece of him. So I adopted it. And now it’s always there for me, a comfortable seat at the end of the day, there to remind me of him. It’s still Pa’s chair, I’m just… keeping it warm.