A young chair finds a new friend...
|The big hand grasped my back and wheeled me across the thinly carpeted floor. My brother had already been put in position; my mom, next. A routine scenario.
The people came daily to shuffle us around the fake room. Then, a machine flashed bright light at the push of a button. A dozen or so flashes and then the equipment was put away and we were left alone until the next day.
Sometimes they moved us to another fake room, sometimes with a kitchen table, or in a child’s bedroom, usually with miniature toy blocks or a teddy bear on our seats. Stock photography, I heard it called. Whatever that meant.
I could see enough of the room outside the fake house and office sets to know that there were others like me and my family, only they were much larger. The big people would sit on them and eat lunches off of plastic trays. No one had ever sat in one of us.
Every once in a while, a person would ride in the chair (that’s what they called us...chairs) and I loved watching the spectacle. What kind of person could ever take me for a thrill ride across a room? Did people come in small sizes?
One night after the people left us alone, I slid myself as quickly as I could across our living space, but mother yelled at me.
“You stop that, Young Man! You’re going to break something!”
Deflated and sad I wheeled to the corner. Why did we exist? What was the point? The big people chairs showed no signs of life, neither did anything else in the small part of the room. Just us tiny chairs. Chairs too small for anything to sit on. Too small to ride on in dangerous, exhilarating euphoria.
I shook with sobs. My brother invited me to play with him, but I didn’t feel up to it. I wondered if I ever would.
The next morning, the humans set a small human girl with long blond hair in pigtails into our fake house. She looked as plastic as my seat and sat rigidly everywhere they set her. She smiled, but it never wavered, her sightless eyes focused straight ahead, a dull blue ignorance.
It was too much for me. Would the tortures never end?
That night, the people left the doll in our quarters. I scooted off to bed early. The day wore me out more than it usually did.
The tears came, and I stifled my sniffles as much as I could.
“Are you okay?” A new voice whispered in my ear.
Startled I jerked away from the fake girl, who didn’t seem so fake anymore. “Who are you? I thought you were fake? A doll?”
“Nah. Only when the people are around...Hey, nice wheels!”
I sniffled. “Thanks.”
“Can I go for a ride?” Her eyes were giant, pale moons that shimmered with excitement.
I smiled and laughed until my body shook.
“Hold on tight!”
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