My writing partner is inert.
He is lying on a very threadbare sky blue chair given to us by my husband’s cousin. It was his mother’s so beloved in a way.
For years, I appreciated the wornness of the old chair, how I could put my hands on its arms and roll the long threads with my fingers, relish its unabashed oldness. Then it was pointed out to me by someone quite dear and with good taste that the chair needed an upgrade, that it had passed the corner of shabby chic to something distracting in its bare boniness.
Perhaps, a new chair should be purchased, it was suggested, but I was against that, having a whole house furnished from castoffs and Goodwill’s furniture showroom after a winter fire turned our old beach house into an incinerated heap. A house’s ashes enough to fill a bushel basket.
So, responding to home decor pressure, I bought a bright blue one-size-fits-all cover for my seedy chair. And it looked great for a while – a day or two. Then my writing partner made it his favorite place to be.and the new cover is thick with his white fur.
Still, he inspires. Today, an editor sent me the final proof of a story of mine called “Snow Door.” It is about this place, this lake, this weather, and even this chair, except in the story a girl sits in the chair, not a dog. But the illustration for the story is the head of a beautiful wolf because, somehow, there is a wolf in the story, well, only his tracks in the snow but in the story, the tracks mean everything.
The cousin who gave us the chair is coming to visit so something will need to be done about the current arrangement. The visit is weeks away though. We have some time – the dog and the chair and me.