The Marriage (A Chair Story)
by Amy Halloran
This chair bore witness to a marriage. Not at the actual ceremony, of course: the couple were good Christians and married in the typical church fashion. But this chair is where they met. This chair was between them, Marietta Marbles and George Gorgeous, the night they saw The Fabulous Ferocuso’s do their stunning acrobatics onstage. The chair sat, quiet as a guest, empty and watching the performance the unmet couple did not regard as charming as each other. The Fabulous Ferocuso’s made pyramids of themselves. They stacked themselves so high their heads hit the ceiling. They made a rope of people the father whipped across stage, shouting "Hiya!" They were marvelous and the rest of the audience gasped and clapped at every interval, but the newlyweds to be were not impressed.
Marietta and George were awed only by each other. The whole evening, Marietta looked longingly at the chair, watching George’s gorgeous arm draped over the back of it. His arm was so close to hers. What did his proximity mean? Did he like her? Would he ask her to go for a walk in the moonlight after the show? Would he ask her to marry him even though they’d never said hello? They had only nodded at each other from across the street whenever their paths crossed.
As the evening progressed, the people onstage tried to distract George from his desire to marry and spend the rest of his life with his wife, the woman beside him. They were divided by a simple chair, a question, by time itself, waiting for them to take the leap across the divide.
"Why let objects come between us?" he almost asked at intermission. "We should be together," he almost said. He almost bought her a lemonade and a white cookie with thick pink frosting. But he didn’t. And he didn’t say anything to Marietta after the show either.
Marietta herself had to close the gap the chair begat. The next time she saw him coming toward her on the other side of the street, she crossed it and put herself in his path so that he could not move without addressing her.
"Madam," he said.
"George Gorgeous," she said. "I know your name and I would like to know more about you. Let us go get a cookie and you can tell me how we should get married, all right?"
"All right," George said softly, shaking his head and letting the woman loop her arm through his, as she supposed. They walked to the bakery and George bought her a cookie with thick pink frosting and one for himself, too. They walked through the town till the sun went down, and by that time, they were engaged.
After they were married, they told the story of this chair. How it had introduced them. They felt a fondness for this seat, as if the thing were animated. As if it had character, and a soul, and both of those had ignited in them the spark that made them, eventually, fly into each other’s arms and lives forever. At the beginning, this chair was there.
About the author:
Amy Halloran currently resides in Troy, New York with her husband and son. Despite the distraction of buying a home, Amy continues to fight "the good fight."