It sat in the corner of the living room, perfectly snuggled between paneling-covered walls. It had a direct, unobstructed line of view from the 27-inch television across the room. A raspy white material peeked through green crushed velvet material at the edges of the armrests, the center of the footrest and the edge of the seat. The shadowy indent of his 6-foot-3-inch frame waited patiently to embrace him once again.

It was a place of refuge and relaxation. Its direct coordinates equaled naps and a place to reflect on projects currently underway, jobs stalled by a roadblock that a few moments of contemplation would help unlock the key to overcome. It was where he would watch countless PGA Tour matches and NFL games at the edge of the seat or through his eyelids.

It also served as the seat behind the Confessional wall, where you could confess anything and expect wise advice, justified condemnation for what you had done or just the right words you needed to hear to get you through.

No one dared sit in Daddy’s chair while he was home, but, wow, how me and my sister fought to sit in it while he was at work. The old foam that had given up most of its buoyancy long ago held hints of English Leather cologne, Gillette Foamy shaving cream and the musk of a hard day’s work.  I know — it’s not the best smell in the world to many, but that smell was my Dad. And, somehow, it always made me feel better — like he had a warm, hard, callous, yet gentle hand on my shoulder when I needed it most, even when I couldn’t talk to him about what was wreaking havoc on my world.

The funny thing is I never wanted a chair of my own after I moved out of the family home. I was happy to sit on a couch, a loveseat … never really designating a place of my own. Then, my boys were born. So, I went out and got a chair. And, the three Fate sisters must have had a laugh when I chose — unwittingly — a green color (not the crushed velvet green, mind you).

The material on the armrests and in the seat is getting worn. There are stains on it from formula, spit up and long nights of just holding our Little Men to console them while their weary mother attempted to get some sleep. The foam is losing its form, giving in to mine.

Maybe, one day, one of our Little Men will tell his son about an old green chair that smelled of Daddy’s cologne, aftershave, shaving cream and sweat borne of a hard day’s work.


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