Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Dragonfly Couch

It is amazing how meaning attaches itself to objects, or places, covering them like a shroud and making these otherwise-unimportant things impossible to let go. The wardrobe that led to Narnia had a magical quality that was based on actual magic, but in our non-fiction world, I find that regular things can also have that magical air.

Consider the Dragonfly Couch.

The Dragonfly Couch is a particular two-seat couch, comfortable and upholstered with fabric that features green, blue, and purple squares beneath a pattern of gold-brown dragonflies. It is located in the Honors building at my university. I rarely have reason to go in there when my classes are elsewhere, but I found myself chatting with someone after class, and to get somewhere quiet and air-conditioned, that is where we went. I sat on this couch, and my friend on the couch opposite.

I had been staring at the leaf-like pattern on the other couch for some time before I looked at my own couch and realized I was seated on a far lovelier piece of furniture. I like imagining that I was surrounded by friendly dragonflies. After my friend left, we'd been talking long enough that I'd grown fond of the couch. I decided to stay a little longer to read my book.

It is quiet in that area most of the time, and easy to listen to conversations. I overheard some Honors College people discussing maroon chairs and gesturing towards where I was sitting, and immediately I thought, "Don't take away the dragonflies!" It is a beautiful pattern, and it is a comfortable couch, but I'd actually developed an attachment to the thing - awfully quickly, too. I suppose I'm fond of any place that allows for easy conversation or reading of books. I ran into two other people that I knew in the time that passed before I left, and had short conversations with both of them. That couch, in its loveliness, turned an unfamiliar place into the sort of place I'd like to go hang out in the middle of the day when I want a little quiet between classes. That is what I mean by a magical quality.

No comments: