Every artwork I do, has an accompanying short story that gets written and hidden in a file on my computer. When someone purchases any work of mine, it comes with the story, signed and sealed by me. This post is a sample of the kind of stories my works incite within me whilst I am creating them.
Once, I was loved and treated gently by the warm and careful hands of the woman that used me. I was the first thing she owned from her very first pay check, the best that she could afford. Every day we greeted each other, every day she made me feel useful and I loved her because she never regretted me. As the years changed, I stayed the same or at least I thought I did. I was always there at the table waiting for her to come down for breakfast. I’d listen to her talk of her day and plan the next, I’d sit silently supporting her while she dreamed of her life. When she had a hard day, I caught her and gave her reprieve. When she had a great day I was there to smile and listen. When she needed help changing a light bulb or reaching that pan high in the cupboard, I was always more than happy to help her. I thought that our relationship would go on forever, but I was unable to see that I had changed and she had as well.
My shiny coat of varnish was worn down so that I stood naked in her kitchen. My sturdy legs had been scrapped and splintered from the constant dragging against the harsh tiles. My seat, now weak and fragile from age and water damage meant that I could no longer help her change the light bulb, but he could. He didn’t need help reaching that light bulb and he never touched me gently like she did. Many of my dints and chips were due to his carelessness when using me and I despaired as my appearance became uncared for. He mentioned my now battered condition and she would touch me gently and remind him I was sentimental. The next day a new group arrived, they were clean, modern and flashy in their metal suits and leather clad backs. They were cold and contemporary and they stood in the center of the room like uncaring soldiers. I was moved to a dusty corner, just out of sight.
No longer did I feel her gentle touch every day or hear her daily adventures. I couldn’t help her or love her silently because she was always just out of sight. Sometimes I heard her voice in the room below, but I was never able to make out any words. Time dragged on and I acquired new little friends who were silent workers. They wove me blankets of webs and ran up and down my battered form. One particular little critter made a home under my weathered splintering set, she had babies there and soon they all moved on, leaving me coated in dust and webbed silvery blankets. I think years past, but for me time is endless so I am unsure.
Eventually she remembered me, I was so happy that day, I thought that she would use me again, bring me into the loving warmth of the home below. I was wrong. She touched me gently one last time, whispered words about a memory long ago when she had first bought me. Her very first chair in her very first home. She ran her hand down my back and I thought if I could cry from joy I would cry now. Then, I was lifted up and taken out of the house. Carefully she placed me on the grass near the road. I was confused and after one last touch she walked away, leaving me there all alone on the grass. I screamed and raged silently for her to come back, my anguished screams never reached her ears and my pleas were never heard.
That night it rained and I learnt the cold hard truth of my existence. I was a chair, a piece of wood from an assembly line of easily discarded chairs, there were of me that night, chairs, tables, stools, cupboards and all of them were screaming just like me. We were discarded after our years of service, like wounded soldiers from war we lined the streets with our broken bodies. Some were missing legs, some had broken backs and some like me were just too warn and fragile, showing our years of service in the very wood we were made from. We were all the same, we had all outlived our usefulness. Battered, fragile and no longer the shiny beautiful polished selves we once were, we were taken out and left in the rain waiting for our death. It was nothing more than I deserved, my existence was just that of a chair, nothing special or extraordinary.
Yet now, I stand here displayed like a prized stallion, adorned in a new coat of varnish and a spiraling rose medallion that represents the flourishing new existence I have been granted. I still hold scars and cracks, but they are not open bleeding wounds. She says they give me character, prove I have lived and been loved. She said that made me special and made me one of a kind, a diamond in rough. I understand now, standing here in my shiny new coat, my scars peeking through. Now I am not just a chair. Now I am art.