One of the things about condo life is that if you leave anything out “free to good home” someone inevitably takes it. Or so we thought. This piece of urban wisdom ultimately failed when someone in our building moved out and left behind a large chair. We are assuming that’s what happened, as there were other large pieces left behind in the parking lot around the same time a moving truck was loaded and this armchair appeared on the lawn in front of our unit. The spontaneous and coincidental arrival of furniture at the same time would be unlikely but not completely outside the realm of possibilities. At any rate, a reasonably nice black arm chair was gingerly placed on the lawn between the garden and the sidewalk in hopes some one would re-home it. At minimum, we figured the strata would get irritated and have it moved for being unsightly (even though it was really quite lovely in its time.) After receiving a photo of our broom on our front porch as a notice of violation, we were sure an entire piece of furniture wasn’t going to get a pass for sullying the facade of our decadent building in an up and coming neighbourhood currently enjoying a renaissance.

This, unfortunately, would not be the destiny of the chair, as many drove past it, but nobody loaded it up and took it away. Seemingly nobody paid it any attention, until a fellow on a bicycle took some time out of his day to disassemble and dissect it, leaving its guts spewing on the ground – maybe to retrieve metal from it for a quick buck.

I wrote about it on my Facebook and my dear friend Dan Deyette composed the following bit of poetry for the chair, now unadoptable:

Ode to the chair, all sad and broken
It’s owners tossed you, their actions have spoken
You provided comfort for some tired tush
Now you’re on the lawn out by the bush….

 Not long after, there was power washing to be done on our building and the chair was dragged down the road slightly. The migratory patterns of abandoned suburban furniture seems an unlikely topic for blogging, but here we are, friends. Over time, someone placed a large coffee can on it for discarded cigarette butts. Then, someone added a belt. I am not sure what the purpose of the belt was exactly but it was clear that not only had the chair not been removed from our street, but it now had AMENITIES. 

With the power washing complete, the chair has migrated back to the lawn where it remains, lonely. As I surveyed it, falling apart outside the house, I could almost hear that Sarah MacLachlan song playing in the background with a voice over that said, “If you have a pick up truck or the strength to lob this giant chair in to the dumpster, you could help an abandoned piece of suburban furniture find a forever home.” In the arms of the angels may you find some comfort… I have a VW Tiguan so I’m out as far as chair transportation goes.

As I type this, I can hear two old men discussing the plight of the chair so, at this point, we can at least say it’s bringing the neighbourhood together. Maybe it will be a story of redemption, from ratty upholstered mess to community fixture. Someone swiped the coffee can and belt so it no longer has the amenities it once boasted. I, too, have felt stripped of what I have to offer by the cruel world sometimes.

This blog post is my memorial to a chair now two weeks forgotten by someone who underestimated the size of their moving truck relative to their belongings, or overestimated the marketability for even being re-homed for free of their once loved resting place. The people of Toronto formed a memorial to a dead racoon, but it’s fire season and I think candles would not be looked upon favourably, so all I have to offer that chair are my words and sympathy.

After all, I, too, have had lonely moments, sitting in the rain, feeling lost and unwanted. I think we all have. In that way, this chair is a metaphor for the human experience.  Who hasn’t felt disposable or forgotten at one time or another? We get it, chair, we really do. May someone help you find your way home (if not, hopefully they pick you up on that day we are allowed to put all our crap on the lawn and the city takes you away.) 

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