“Why didn’t you say something?” Moses asked.
“I didn’t think you were really sinking; I thought it was a hallucination,” I tried to explain.
“You know I have trust issues with chairs.”
“Yes, I know how three chairs once collapsed on you in a single day. I was even there for the third one.”
“Right. So you should know what a big deal this is for me.”
A couple of years later, I would turn up the volume on a softly spoken background reading in a Moses Marx song, trying to really catch the words that had so far eluded me. “We start in a womb and end up in a tomb and in between we deny the doom,” it said, before diving into a long list of misfortunes we pretend won’t befall us. I nearly lost it when I heard the words “and every chair you sit down on will be sturdy.” This was something that went all the way to Moses’s core.
Disgruntled, Moses shuffled over and took a seat atop a gigantic piece of stereo equipment. “Allow me to introduce the speaker of the house,” he said.
This was an excerpt from Chicagoland. The complete novel is Kindle format through Amazon.