I'm a hoarder. Anything that's concerned with my own autobiography I have a very difficult time letting go of. This chair ... I got it when I was in sixth grade. My parents decided that I should have a desk. A kid with a desk, the no doubt reasoned, would be studious. We got it at Wacker's Trading Post -- a fabulous used furniture warehouse. I picked it out. Three drawers down the right hand side, one flat one along the top. And I was studious. I wrote at that desk -- prodigiously. I wrote stories, poems, bad novels, I wrote letters and kept up an incredible correspondence. And I sat in this chair. I never particularly liked the chair -- though I was excited to see that it greatly resembled the chair that Van Gogh painted at Aurls. Sometime when I was in 8th grade or so, my super cool aunt Joanne gave me a pair of antique handcuffs because I was a Houdini fanatic. I promptly lost the key and locked them to the chair. I'm actually not sure if I lost the keys first or if I locked them to the chair first. No doubt Houdini would have thrown the keys away anyway.
Well, I brought the chair with me to Philadelphia and it sat in a corner in the Club for the Gentry for years and for a while, it became Momcat's perch. She was there every day, all the time. And she'd sharpen her claws on it and eventually she completely destroyed it. Still I didn't throw it away because ... it was the chair that I sat in and wrote all those letters and stories and newspaper articles and it felt somehow important to me. But looking at it yesterday while cleaning I realized that it was time for the chair to go, and time for me to let other things go to make room for the new things.