This is the prompt called "Please be seated" for this week from the website www.writteninc.blogspot.co.uk.
I saw this chair in Ishafan, Iran in a mosque undergoing rehabilitation. The first things that caught my eye were the perfect footprints looking like they'd be left on purpose, by someone throwing a pursuer off his or her tracks. Or from someone, like me, intrigued by the image and daring to add something personal to the tableau.
The hole in the back is the next place my eye moved. A sitter's shoulders would naturally rest in that spot. If this was a cheap detective story, the hole might be a bullet hole.
The picked over arms are the saddest parts of the chair. I imagined two possibilities - an elderly man with a cardigan sweater buttoned up crookedly, sitting outside a house or store on the sidewalk, picking at the plastic, worrying about his children and grandchildren living someplace far from Iran. Or worse, someone tied to the chair in a dark, terrible place ripping the arms apart from horror and attempts to escape. I hope the latter was an imagining nearer the truth.
The second chair is a beautiful one that sat in an all-bamboo house we rented in Bali a few years ago. The pieces that brace the chair are called "bamboo bones". The chairs were lovely as works of art and also for their gorgeous location looking out on the Balinese jungle. No footprints on these babies.