Saturday, July 22, 2006


Drove three hours up to Pennsylvania this morning, to pick up a rocker and ottoman we’d bought at the Renaissance Festival last year. The arms, frame and rockers are black walnut, and the back and seat are formed of six by four by two inch cherry blocks, all webbed together with white polypropylene rope, which you can’t see. The maker measured me for it, so it’s a big version of a big design. It didn’t look too bad at the Fair.

I started to realize how big it actually is when I had to get it off the truck by myself. At the woodshop Gerry and I just boosted it up, no prob. Alone, I could lift it but it was in peril. Finally settled on standing behind it in the truck bed and lowering it inchwise to the ground.

From there it was the mad waltz to the door, which, it was immediately apparent, had to come off. It didn’t miss by much, but certainly enough. No way.

Very well, off with the door, only the storm door, eight screws. Drag the ridiculous fucking monstrosity into the very house. Now, we live in a house built circa 1860, by Virginians, farmers who, strangely, didn’t seem to get enough protein in early life to reach full human stature. (Once they were deprived of their slaves, they disappeared entirely.) And they built to suit: ceilings upstairs were sixty inches until we raised the roof.

The headpiece of this…chair…is two thirds of the way to the ceiling. The thing looms in the corner like the seat of some vanished Saxon king. Sundown lights the cherry blocks gold.

I resolutely forbid myself the question “What did we do?” Instead, I set myself down in it, lean back. It’s like sitting on nothing. The blocks distribute your weight so evenly you only feel half, if that. Very soon, I’m drifting off, my arms falling perfectly to its wide, polished ones, and who cares how big it is.

I jump back from the edge of sleep, get up to look at it again. As it assembles its own collection of pillows, blankets, throws, etc etc , it will no doubt begin to look more familiar and inviting, but for now it sits there like a very well-dressed stranger talking business in the parlor. I almost feel like serving it coffee, offering it a drink.

Instead, I settle back in to see if I wasn’t imagining things before. I’m going to have to check this thing out very carefully.



  1. I like a struggle!

    We had to take a window out to get the Narnia wardobes in and it took seven big men to get the bath up the stairs (I took the encouraging role).
    The cast iron, five foot, claw-footed monster looked much smaller in the hotel that we took it from. It had to have its own platform built to take the weight and the plumber had to do something creative with the stand-alone brass taps.
    The results speak for themselves...bath bliss!

  2. Some people only cop the towels.

  3. No, had those as well and the towel rails and whatever I could fit in me bag - all for £50.00!! Bargain!