Chair Review: Generic Dorm Chair/Desk

Written by

Dual Wielding

As a part of our continuing series about chairs at Columbia, we present to you a luscious and colorful review of that indigenous grey species found in nearly every dorm on campus. 

It’s 1:30 am on a Friday night. You’re at a mediocre Ruggles party with plenty of wine and conversation, but your feet kind of hurt and you just want to sit down. Across the room you see it. Gray, innocuous, awkwardly squeezed between the bed and the closet, it’s a plush armchair. You approach. It is standard dorm furniture—a heavily water-stained fixture of every poorly lit photo of upperclassman housing that you’ve seen on Bwog or WikiCU.

On the way down, a sharp pain hits your hip, cutting through your red wine buzz. A small, hard plastic tray swivels, mechanically attached to the arm of the chair. The rest of the party murmers indistinctly a few feet above you as you spin the small desk on its pivot. Round and round it goes. A simple, childlike calm comes over you like when you play with the beads-on-wires toy at the doctor’s office.

On the other arm of the chair, your left hand brushes against something cold and metallic. What’s this? A button? You run your hand over it. Its cool, smooth face is welcome respite from the radiating heat of the party and the scratchy, unpleasant landscape of the polyester fabric. What was that?!? Did the small button just move? An outer ring around a smaller circle, you finger the brushed aluminum. Tenderly, you apply some pressure. It gives way, and your finger slips into the cylindrical hole. Your finger penetrates the arm up to the knuckle. The cool metal encases your skin, but as quickly as it began, it is over. Your finger is forced out by some unseen spring. You try again and you develop a rhythm—an understanding of the various forces and proclivities of the chair; a meditative calm settles over you. Absentmindedly, you glance about the room.

Suddenly: eye contact. The host standing across the room looks confused and disgusted as your eyes meet, your finger half way inside his chair. You pull out, look away sheepishly, and wipe the slippery grease off your hand onto the folds of the gray, scratchy upholstery.

You try to stand up, but some combination of that half a bottle of wine and the hidden wheels on the base of the chair make the chair slide back a bit, throwing you off balance while you awkwardly fall back into the chair. The unnaturally sprung seat bounces you back up so that you nearly spill your drink.

You sit there another moment and the overstuffed back supports your neck and lumbar region. You close your eyes for one brief moment. The droning chatter of the party and the chair, now warm with your body heat, lull you into a state of calm despite the Top 40 hip pop blasting from the Macbook in the next room.

Your friend comes over and perches on the wide arm of the chair. She tells you to wake the fuck up, because your favorite song is on. Begrudgingly, you peel yourself away from your polyester haven. As she drags you away, you look back on your chair. From afar it is so cold, so plain, so unassuming. Yet, for a fleeting moment, that chair was your home.

Conclusion: 3 raised glasses out of 4.

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  1. Anonymous  

    those chairs are definitely green, not gray, and they're pretty soft and smooth, not scratchy

  2. Anonymous

    there's also black grease in the small button/spring thing so it leaves your finger dirty...

  3. Anonymous  


  4. Anonymous  

    this was awesome, better than the other two.

  5. Anonymous  

    Shouldn't that caption read double penetration?

  6. That third paragraph  

    pretty much sums up my first time.

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