John Colasacco: Tell Me How It Felt
Interview w/a chair
I thought that if I sat in the old chair, I would be safe from any other thing in the room.
My innocence was no longer the sole focus of my thoughts.
Sitting in the chair, I absorbed the sound of a morning rain.
I got up and left and came back to the chair.
I used the disinfectant and the rag to remove any dirt from it.
Now that the chair was clean, I could sit in it forever.
Soon I fell asleep there.
In my dreams I could send fearful messages to it.
The chair allows one person at a time to sit on its seat. Unoccupied, it stands strangely, even awkwardly. It takes up space and makes no sound.
I can kick over the chair and send it skidding into the wall. I can stand at the bay window with the overturned chair at my feet, looking out at the face of the hill.
When the day seems bright and unrelenting outside, I am the only one who remains inert. My family is taking their loud laughter out into the road. There is an erased landscape I am seeing.
I bow at the hips 1000 times to show the truth to them. At a certain point, the chair tells me we can only last a few minutes more. After that I will have to yield to something.
When I paint the chair, I do it lovingly, with a soft expensive paintbrush. Instead of paint, though, I use plain water. In the room, there is the faint taste of my own spit.
The chair says something forever, and I am going to be the one to hear it.
The chair answers silently when I ask if someone else has ever sat in it before.
A better question would be, do you remember the name of the person who is speaking to you?
When I ask this, the chair reminds me of my preference.
Now we rearrange the room, letting our long hair flow behind us.
Since we are very many, it only took a few moments; all we had to do was each choose one thing and put it somewhere else.
I slid the chair across to where the bookcase was. I sat down on the side of the overturned chair, amazed at how quickly it was done.
Once the others were gone, I began to sink down and get comfortable in the chair, breaking it somewhat.
I let my hair down again, wishing for it to be even longer.
I brushed it out lovingly, so that it would grow. I remembered how I even allowed others to brush it; sometimes they would draw up close beside my ear and actually tell me how it felt.
John Colasacco's recent books are Antigolf (CCM) The Information Crusher (Spuyten Duyvil) and Two Teenagers (Horse Less). His forthcoming book, The Wagners, will be out in 2019, and a new manuscript, Interviews w/Objects, is excerpted here.