SHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – One of the most familiar objects in mythology endowed with miraculous powers is the magic carpet, able to transport its owner over rooftops and across seas to strange lands far, far away. It isn’t difficult to understand the fascination that flight held for earthbound humans before the invention of airplanes, and as a child I loved to hear stories of those flying rugs and the adventures they afforded. I would imagine myself sitting on one of those plush multi-colored Persian carpets with their dangling fringes, soaring high across the terrain to exotic places with pointed domes and minarets while looking down on the oblivious people below and observing their activities. What great escape when stuck in the house on a rainy day. Perhaps those tales were the stimuli for the wanderlust I’ve always felt, motivating me as an adult to travel around the world while on vacations, but using commercial airlines rather than some woven floor covering. Though my conveyance was not quite as romantic, touching the Sphinx or walking on China’s Great Wall was just as thrilling.
Although I don’t have a magic carpet, I do however have another furnishing in my home that has abilities equally as mystical. You see I possess a leather recliner that has the power to carry anyone who sits in it on journeys beyond belief, if only for an hour or so. Though just a stationary device for relaxation, it’s better than taking LSD or opium because it allows whoever sits in it to escape from the humdrum and troubles of everyday life without the adverse and addictive qualities associated with drugs, while costing absolutely nothing. All that’s required is to plop down, put your legs up, and let the chair do the rest. Of course if the TV is on the chair’s influence takes effect that much faster, while reading a book works almost as well. As proof, my wife who claims she can’t fall asleep except in bed, shuts her eyes as soon as her buns hit the cushion though she has no recollection of that fact. I on the other hand sometimes don’t even remember sitting down for the thing’s aura makes me comatose just coming within its sphere of influence.
What sweet dreams it has produced, ferrying me to places where only faeries and elves normally go, where rainbows arc across azure skies while butterflies and damselflies dance over the landscape, where fire breathing dragons and club wielding giants terrorize the countryside only to be vanquished by brave knights in shining armor, where fair maidens’ hands are up for grabs to anyone courageous and clever enough to rescue them from the clutches of possessive witches and ogres, and where people never age and live happily ever after. Is it any wonder that I cherish the thing, letting me sail with Sinbad or joust with Sir Launcelot if for only a few brief moments.
Dorothy had to get caught in a cyclone to reach Oz, and Hugh Conway had to survive a plane crash in the snow covered Himalayas to find Shangri-La, but to reach my personal Eden all I need do is enter the enveloping arms of my upholstered portal to paradise and be whisked away to worlds beyond time and space. Best of all, the recliner’s powers seem to be without end and if anything, get more potent with every passing day for the older I get the longer I remain under its spell.
I’d invite you over to experience the chair’s force for yourself but I’m afraid you’d never leave. You’ll just have to find a dream-producing device of your own.