The way she sat on a chair looked a
hieroglyph's stiff aim rather than a plop.
Especially when her target was plastic.
Or metal. Or metal and plastic.
She appeared as a normal auburn haired,
henna dependent, horn-rimmed, round-
heeled librarian might but for her extraordinary
dislike for chairs that did not smell
ordinarily human. For her, each good one had
its own bouquet, its distinct cultural waft, was a
palimpsest of signatures, one on top of the other.
When she spoke of a chair as being mostly a
favorite uncle's or a flat-bottomed aunt's, she'd
check-sniff like a connisseur. Curators sought her
out to mate one of Cleopatra's thrones to another,
a European King's to a European Queen's.
She's directed at a bentwood cathedra, a portable
Greek or Roman design that sight-smells of a
platonic thinker until, from a microbe's distance, she
sniffs a troubling identity, that of an L.A. attorney
whose leather seated discard she'd parked in her sun room.
Aha! She rises imperiously, points majestically, and spits
counterfeit at the piece. Almost fooled, she circles the
guilty chair. She swears at it as an inquistioner might who
directs the purifying flames of the righteous. Eyes closed,
she tilts her neck and nose back and up to the image,
ever close, of the silicified stump that sat the very first human
of note. It would not smell like this.
(c) 1999, B. Koplen