Personal Space: That Blue Chair

By Alyse Borkan  |  Jul 8, 2014
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My blue chair made me love my room again. The university-appointed space was about 8×6 feet and supposed to fit my bed, a desk, my clothes, and my sanity.

I wanted to shut my bedroom door, take off my bra, my sandals, and feel so at ease that sleep could come at any point. But this room faced the courtyard of my dormitory complex — a ground floor, front-row view of the scene of my first real breakup. At night, the public safety lamp across the yard set an eerie glow, I would get periodic wafts of art school cigarettes and caffeinated psychotic chatter. By the time my mother arrived on the scene, my faith in my room had been so diminished I tended to avoid it at all costs.

We moved out the clunky dorm room desk — which was never really a desk to me anyway — and replaced it with a $42 light blue, medium-sized velvet chair from the Providence Salvation Army on Pittman street. We vacuumed the rug, placed more bins under my bed, Mom went back to New York, and I went back to studio.

When I arrived home that Sunday night and walked down our dusty hallway, I kicked off my shoes before entering my room for the first time all year. I quickly slipped in, shut the door, and was met by my charming new chair. It was a touch of my mother, some luxury, a place for guests to sit besides my bed, a soft blue place to hold court over my laundry and cardboard models.

For the rest of the semester, I adored my room and even started sleeping more. My friends loved the chair for movie watching while I fiddled around with homework assignments. It was unequivocally a much better place to have a serious conversation — or eat a bowl of ramen — than on my bed.

I refused to graduate college without my chair. It moved to my parents’ garage for a summer, and then to the East Village with three 22 year-olds to liven our first big-girl apartment. While I travel, it temporarily resides in a sunny corner of my best friend’s bedroom in Prospect Heights. She swears she’s never done it on my chair, but I would probably forgive her if she did.

It sometimes only took one new thing, or in this case a not-so-new new thing, to change everything about my room. So sit on your bed and look around: What is it you can’t stand, or what makes absolutely no sense? Get it out of there, and find something new, inviting, and exciting to put in its place.

— Simone Paasche

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