Rocking chairs are for individuals making the previous few stops in man’s lengthy journey by way of life. The subsequent cease could be the wheelchair, and the following is what the late Inquirer writer Isagani Yambot known as the “predeparture lounge.” However let’s not go there; that is nearly a chair.
Resigned to no matter destiny awaits them farther down the street, most seniors retire to their rocking chairs. Not me. With my days as information editor of this newspaper over, I retired to my recliner, probably the most important piece of private furnishings I ever owned.
It’s the seat from which a as soon as lively senior, compelled right into a sedentary life, plots to guide a quixotic campaign to stave off the virus-induced extinction of a complete era of child boomers.
My La-Z-Boy was a present from a superb buddy on my 50th birthday. Neither of us realized then that, 15 years down the street, it was to be my retirement present, as effectively. It was delivered to me in items. Too giant to undergo the spiral staircase, it was assembled in my loft, which, through the years, has grow to be my man cave. This small area was initially my examine, the place I labored, and leisure room, the place I learn the information, listened to music and watched tv.
Over time, it has grow to be my bed room, as effectively. I used to be evicted from our bed room by my insomniac roommate who couldn’t stand my late nights, my loud night breathing and the loud tv set that lulls me to sleep each night time. My daughters, and later my granddaughter, took over my area (I believe they plotted my eviction).
The La-Z-Boy, it was marketed, was “constructed to final.” However through the years, the recliner started to deteriorate. The mechanism began to squeak and get caught and the bonded leather-based slowly started to crack and fray. A lot for fact in promoting. (To be honest, it was additionally as marketed: “good for the person cave I deserve”).
I requested the native distributor to have the recliner repaired and reupholstered, and so they referred me to their approved upholsterers. I waited for months, however none of them known as. So I despatched for an “unauthorized” upholsterer, who was low-cost. The chair got here again a few months later and seemed each bit the definition of “low-cost” and “unauthorized.”
The springs nonetheless squeaked, the foot relaxation and lever acquired caught much more usually. An excessive amount of foam made the arm rests lumpy. To make issues worse, the unique elegant Pacific blue leather-based had given approach to a garish sea inexperienced leatherette that assaulted the sight of sore eyes. It was a visible anomaly. However what the heck, the seat and backrest had been tender and cushty and comfortable. And it nonetheless reclined.
Like Sheldon Cooper’s spot, my chair is “in a state of everlasting dibs,” a single level of consistency in a world that’s in a relentless state of flux, and “the sovereign soil of my backside.” It’s straight within the path of a cross breeze created by an open window and the terrace. “It faces the tv at an angle that’s neither direct . . . nor thus far huge to create a parallax distortion.”
This refuge from the dialectic world has stored me on even keel all these years. That is the place I sit to look at TV and hearken to music. It’s also the place I take pleasure in my breakfast and do my writing and studying. Whereas it’s a useless spot for my Globe sign, it’s shut sufficient to my Wi-Fi router to maintain me on-line once I must be. It’s a pleasant spot to park my butt and take a nap. When sleep turned very painful and uncomfortable after I broke a rib in a mountain bike crash 10 years in the past, this additionally turned my mattress. It’s the piece of furnishings that unseated (so to talk) the one in the bathroom as the most effective seat in the home. It’s no rocking chair, however my recliner rocks!
That is additionally the place, like Walter Mitty of fiction, I fantasize—about climbing Mount Everest and writing the nice Filipino novel, typically plotting the profession change that retirement foisted on me, typically staring blankly on the door to the adjoining room. It’s the door to my previous.
The chair is now the throne from which I rule my very own little kingdom, the place my topics—the youngsters—suppose I’m a tyrant.
Which takes me again to a different fictional character, Sheldon Cooper, the germophobic and quirky physicist in “The Huge Bang Concept” who, when requested to clarify his authority over his ‘‘spot,’’ stated: ‘‘Cathedra mea, regulae meae.’’ In English: My chair, my guidelines. In millennial Tagalog: Ah, basta!
Just lately, within the time of pandemic, this throne has additionally grow to be my jail. Confinement to this chair for many of my waking hours on the peak of the triathlon season has turned me into somebody I’ve labored arduous all my life from changing into: a sofa potato.
The reupholstered recliner has seen higher days. The ugly ersatz leather-based is cracked and crisp, the froth intestine is spilling out and the seams are frayed. The material seat cowl that was draped over to cover the ugly cracks now reeks of my very own sweat. It has additionally begun to unravel. If the body had been to collapse, I’m certain the disemboweled carcass would yield fairly quite a few lacking objects, like previous keys, USB sticks, tv distant controls and possibly Yaya Inday’s mobile phone. And sufficient cash to purchase me a brand new recliner.
On this chair, I fought cabin fever and embraced boredom, and Netflix turned my buddy and it reacquainted me with Sheldon. That is the place I learn and reread poetry, briefly remembering the one by Dylan Thomas. This morning, as I woke as much as the information that my buddies have been gagged and thrown to the streets, that is the place I raged in opposition to the dying of the sunshine. Don’t go light into that good night time, my comrades.
This relic of a chair could look blighted and barren, however it’s the spring from whence flows what’s left of my inventive juices and the blood that retains alive the combat in me; the anchor that retains me grounded; and the armchair from which I’ll combat my battles. That is my spot. —CONTRIBUTED