She (A Chair Story)
by Amy Halloran
She who sat on this chair was never there. She was always a ghost, chancing upon life's empty seats, but never, to her regret, her old, empty body. The body was lost in her grave, a spot without a marker, and she couldn’t find her bones. So she roamed. She sat everywhere the empty sit: in church, at the library, in an opera, in a corner of the room on top of a quilt in a lump after all the living in the house have died each night in sleep.
She who sat on this chair was never there. She was always around, like a flirt, an option, a butterfly, both near and not. She was a sigh. She was always around and she stays, a legend. She is present, a gift. She makes the sounds that no one claims. She rustles the papers on your writing desk while you read on the sofa. In your sleep, she washes a dish, the plate from which she ate a snack of olives. You hear the pits drop, a rush of plops, into the catch. You are the one who empties the black nuggets into the trash the next morning. Then, before the coffee can pry your eyes fully open, before time can clear the film that sleep grows, a fungus of hope, she flits across the room. From the corner of your eye you see her. You know she is there, and yet you don't. She is a ghost, a mouse, the restless soul of the house. She keeps you on your toes. Thanks to her bodylessness, you know that you are but a guest kept out of the cold by the wood and bricks you own.
She who sat on this chair was never there. She was always with you. She is your grandmother, mine, the wife of time, the bride of infinity. She wears lace, buckskin, nothing against the wilderness. She will sit in this chair in fashions of the future, too. Dress her in bustiers, in leopard skin camisoles. She will wear the things you think time won’t allow a girl so old. Sit in this chair and you will see, you can be like her, there and never there, a witness to history. Time travel. Unravel time. Unwind the clock, tick tock, with her. She is your guide, your ghost, your host. She.
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."