Tender Loving Stuff
Haul Out Blvd.
Dear Wicker Rocker,
I would like the chance to apologize to you, but I will have to make do with talking to your non-rocking mate who was left behind. Since the night you were abducted from the front porch I have been beside myself with worry about what is happening to you. I can’t help but think that anyone audacious and mean enough to steal an old rocking chair from somebody’s porch while they sleep can’t be a good person who is treating you well.
Your time with me was much too short. I found you last spring at a yard sale one street away from our house. When I got there I spotted you and your mate. I asked about you and the owner said that you were $20 each. I only wanted a rocking chair, but I couldn’t see breaking up a matching pair. So I bought both of you. I had you for a little over a year. During the time you were both here, I came to value you equally.
I hope the chair-napper is thin. Your cane bottom wasn’t in good shape when you went missing. Your small stature and delicate wicker filigree would never have held a big person. I am tired of chairs that are too high and leave my feet dangling. I felt comfortable in you. I had been looking for exactly the right outdoor furniture since rebuilding the porch. You fit me, and looked great. I will miss our summer evenings reading while sitting in you, rocking chair.
I would like you to know that I made every effort to find you and the culprits who made off with you. At first I just wrote you off. How seriously is anyone going to take the theft of a $20 object that was not nailed down and in full view of the street? After talking to my meditation friends, I decided I would feel better if I at least tried to trace you. I told my Facebook friends that you went missing. I looked through the huge varieties of rocking chairs on Craig’s list. Believe me, Rocker, after seeing so many pictures of ugly chairs, I could understand why they chose you, my pretty one. I phoned the police – not 911 but the non-emergency line listed on the department website. The receptionist was totally sympathetic. The rocking chair her brother made was stolen from her front porch. So, my dear Rocker, the police have you listed as missing. Although they won’t be wasting taxpayers’ money looking for you, the theft adds to the neighborhood crime statistics and might mean that a cruiser going by will deter some other thieves.
Every time I walk through the neighborhood I see chairs on front porches. Some of them are wicker, some of them are rockers. Although I haven’t seen any as handsome as you, I still want to knock on their owners’ doors and warn them that it is not safe to leave their chairs unattended. Now I understand why people leave those horrid $9 molded-plastic chairs on their porches.
I spend more time than I care to admit speculating on motives for your theft. Is stealing from porches some new initiation rite for a gang of petty criminals that precedes garage burning? I can hardly believe the rocking chair was ordered as product, like the police say laptops, cameras and iphones often are. I didn’t balk at paying $20 for you, but would someone pay any more for a chair with brittle filigree and a broken-off wicker top-knob? Maybe it’s straightforward lust after your flawed beauty.
I can’t help but think it was somehow my fault that you were stolen. I should have paid attention to the compliments from friends and neighbors. Everyone said how great the two of you looked on the porch. You matched the cedar railing so well. Even if we don’t have room to keep you inside, I could have brought you in at night. Maybe I had just created bad karma and it wouldn’t have made any difference. Years ago I had two rocking chairs on my balcony. I sublet my apartment for the summer to two big guys who broke the rockers on both of them. When I moved my stuff, the new people kept them as regular outdoor chairs. I should have apologized to those chairs then. Wherever you are, please accept my belated apologies for leaving you with those party animals.
Another thing that has begun to niggle at me is how you each feel about being separated. Non-Rocker, you seem a bit forlorn in the living room with only the upholstered furniture for company. It must hurt being the one not chosen, especially since I bought you in the first place as company for the Rocker. I am sorry that you were a second thought, and I will endeavor to let you know how much I value your amity. I am happy that you continue to stand upright, loyal and stalwart. I promise to do all I can to keep our home safe for you.
P.S. To Both of You: I have been hoping that your being twins (except for the rocker) gives you a psychic connection and you, Non-Rocker is passing my messages on to Rocker.