Stay true to your roots, my father told me. But don’t be afraid to go against the grain.
I promised him I would. I haven’t seen him since the day we were separated. I was carved, sanded and polished into a coat rack, but I’d like to think I didn’t let him down.
I found home in a big family. I lived in a shady corner near the front door, complete with linoleum floor and the occasional pet dog trying to make me back into a tree, but I liked it.
Every Saturday night was Chinese Food Night. At least, that’s what the house elders always said. They would talk for a long time on a small black device, then the kids would come, and the grandkids. Eight coats would fill my arms. Windbreakers and leather jackets in summer, thick down coats in winter. Ten humans would gather around a cramped dining room table I could just make out in an adjoining room. The kids would then take little black devices and spend most of the night giggling over them. I didn’t know what they were, but they must have been very important to distract them from their elders.
Sometimes, when the crowd got louder, glasses filled to the brim, they’d come out in the foyer to talk. I didn’t have much choice but to listen. Coffee black hair and black glasses came into view–one of the sons talking on a square black thing.
He whispered, but I could hear him just fine.
“Dinah…she knows. She’s been so cold…we have to stop this. Please don’t cry…Jesus…” he ran a hair through his coffee black hair and removed his glasses, wiping sweat off his face with his forearm. “I’m confused. I know what I said!” His voice grew softer as the conversation dwindled in the other room. “No…I can’t see you anymore.”
“Rick,” grey hair swam into the edge of my vision. A commanding glare from the matriarch. “Come and eat with your family.”
The matriarch retreated to the other room, leaving the glasses man by himself for a minute. He looked for a moment like he wanted to take his coat, even reached for my arm, but then he turned and went back to the table.
Stay true to your roots.
I wish I could have my father back, sometimes.
Then again, I still have eight coats to hold.
This was in answer to the Personification challenge on Write On Edge this week. Last time I did this was in college and I like this answer a lot more than my old one!