900 Words From The Point of View of Someone Trying To Get Up From A Beanbag Chair

It's exactly what the subject line says.

I knew what I was getting myself into here.

I accepted those risks clear-eyed and head-on. Life is all about making calculations—balancing risk and reward, comfort and consequence, sowing and reaping—and I entered myself into a deal that I knew, at some point, I would have to extricate myself from. No one made me do this, and no one but I can undo what I have done.

That is not to say that I am without regret.

Here, in this moment of personal struggle, I am forced to reflect on the entirety of the situation—the winding path of fate that let me into my current predicament. 

It was a rare moment of peace for me, a shooting star of a Sunday afternoon. My family away for the afternoon, few responsibilities for me to attend to. Idle hands are the devil’s playthings, they say, but what’s so wrong with letting the devil get a few licks in? I hear he’s one heck of a fiddle player. But I digress. Puttering around the house, I found myself searching for comfort. Not just any comfort, mind you. This was a rare situation and it called for a rare degree of relaxation. 

Where might’n’t I find a comfort so elusive as to rise to this moment in time? The bed, perhaps? No. It wasn’t a nap that I sought, for the afternoon nap passes in the blink of an eye and oft leaves one feeling more exhausted than whence they’d began, Hypnos’ most cruel prank. The couch? Nay. That’s but for weeknight relaxation, a frumpy repose. Too cold for the hammock or a porch swing, too dangerous to consider a venue outside of the house. 

Then, like a thunderbolt, my destination became clear.

There it was. A siren beckoning from the corner of the recreational room, a throne more cozy than any king or queen of antiquity dared sit upon, nestled in the quiet stillness of a partially finished basement. 

The beanbag chair.

It was purchased the better half of a decade prior, an impulsive purchase by nature, because who of sound mind and careful planning would procure one through careful intent? It came from HomeGoods and was brought into our home to be good, but was soon forgotten, a lingering relic of misbegotten commerce. Its moment of utility never came, and rarely has a posterior ever sunk into its beany depths.

That moment never came, that is, until one hour and forty-five minutes ago. 

The house to myself, the to-do list bare, I had sought a place to be who I am and in that fateful moment I would become my destiny: I would become Beanbag Chair Occupant. I carried with me all the things I would need for this journey toward self-realization: a phone, a bag of chips, and a tall can of craft beer that I would carefully photograph myself drinking, so as to share with others in my moment of leisure. 

I carefully laid out my supplies on the nearby bookshelf, choosing a well-considered approximation of future arm’s reach, and steeled myself for the ungraceful transition from the world of the standing to the liminal space of the bebeaned. Do I dip a toe in carefully, I thought, as though testing the waters of a warm bath? Or do I hurl myself in, like some revelsome vacationer hurling themself from a rocky outcrop into a crystal blue lagoon below?

I opted for a middle approach, tipping in like a synchronized swimmer entering a pool. The bag squealed and scrunched in a welcoming embrace, fake leather filled with beads of extruded polystyrene, shifting and deflating under the displacement of my mortal vessel. I felt a comfort like no other envelop me, my body suspended as though it were but a miniature marshmallow in a festive gelatin dessert, neither free nor constrained, resting upon nothing yet held firmly in situ.

It was only at this moment that I realized the error of my calculations. I reached for my beer, but found it several inches from my grasp, the artfully-designed can taunting me with pun-laden descriptions of surprising flavors for any ale to deliver, if only I could hold it. My snack, a salted and puffed treat purchased under the questionable pretense of “self-care”—it, too, rested tauntingly and tantalizingly short of my fingertips. 

I leaned forward, and the beans leaned back—my abdominal strength cruelly put to the test by the closest approximation of quicksand that a suburban home can offer. I attempted to roll out, and was buffeted back like a buoy on the waves. Each attempt to rise only sank me further; each new approach proved more futile. I began to wonder if the scrunching pleather was laughing at me, howling in mirth as it slowly digested me like a fly in a carnivorous plant. 

I weighed the potential shame that would accompany calling for help, dialing my family to come rescue me from a piece of leisure furniture. The consideration of that embarrassment remained a purely academic pursuit, though, as my phone, too, slid further and further from reach. 

And so, it is here that I commit these words to history, for they may be my last. 

To my family: I will miss you. I am still in this chair, and if I do not return, understand that I went in comfort, and I would do it all again.

—Beanbag Chair Occupant, February (??) 2021