The Dangers of Asking What Writers Are Thinking


the unbearable lightness of sitting 2

Shortly after that, the chairs learned to fly and left this planet forever.(Photo credit: Pedro Moura Pinheiro)

The following is an actual conversation I had with my husband. Feel free to pity him. He didn’t know what he was getting into when I dragged him off at that bar all those years ago.

Me: (staring into space like I can see into forever, saying nothing for a long time.)

Snowman: (noticing) Hey.

Me: (nothing)

Snowman:  (nudge) Hey.

Me: (returning to this planet) Buh?

Snowman: What are you thinking about?

Me: …You really want to know?

Snowman: I wouldn’t have asked otherwise.

Me:….waterfalls of armchairs.

Snowman: ….What?

Me: Waterfalls. Of armchairs. (Helpfully points at the recliner in the corner.)

Snowman: Like…water pouring off the seats?

Me: No. Like, rivers made of armchairs going over a cliff.

Snowman:…Do I even want to know why?

Me: Do you think that could ever happen? Like, what if a trainload of armchairs fell into a dry canyon with enough of a slope. If there was enough momentum, would it be armchair river time? A big grinding mess of upholstery and padding? And then all we’d need would be a cliff.

Snowman: Why does this sound like something you’re planning on doing?

Me: Well, wouldn’t you want to see it? The rumble of the chairs, the splintering of wood, cushions going fucking everywhere. And then, in the distance, the cliff approaches and they start the plunge. The sun catching wads of stuffing. Wing chairs and recliners tumbling into the void together. A single footstool leaps out of the flow and hangs for a second before gravity takes hold and it pinwheels away. Antimacassars flapping in the breeze like birds. It’d be like a miracle of nature. But with chairs.

Snowman: (wonders again why he married me.)

Me: (still staring into space) I bet it’d be loud.


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