I've mentioned before how much I love crossing the Ballard Bridge, especially in the mornings on the bus. One thing both Brett and I always noticed (and loved) was that on the roof of a building next to the bridge, there was a big sign that said "Mandrake's Antiques," and next to the sign was a creamy-white-colored chair, which looked to possibly be wrought iron or some other kind of scrolly, carved substance, almost Rococo in its ornate, swirly style.
The way it was positioned was such that if anyone ever sat in it (which is something I never saw), they would be looking straight into the faces of all of the drivers passing by on the bridge.
It appealed to me for some odd reason; I liked the incongruity of the ornate, swirly chair against the gritty industrial background of the marina and the surrounding warehouses.
My friend Bree and I were on the bus on Saturday, going downtown to shop and hang out and to kind of pretend we were in college again. (It was great fun.)
When we got to the point in the bus ride where the chair used to be, I gestured out the window.
"Ok, so maybe I'm just weird that I noticed this, but there used to be this chair on that roof there, and -- "
"AND NOW IT'S GONE! I know! I was so bummed when I saw it wasn't there anymore!" she said.
It made both of us really happy to know that we weren't the only ones who noticed its absence, or the only ones who enjoyed seeing it there every day.
I wonder why it was there to begin with. Did someone take it up there to sit and watch the traffic on their lunch break? Did someone put it there intentionally to send a message to all of the harried commuters? Did someone from the company put it there as a way of advertising their antique furniture?
More, though, I wonder what happened to it. Did the company close down? Did the manager finally get tired of seeing it every day and tell someone to take the chair off the roof, for Pete's sake? Did it break and need to be moved?
I wonder, too, how many people notice it is now missing.
I don't think I'll ever know the answers to these questions, although I will admit that the thought of calling the company has crossed my mind. (This is where a background in journalism rears its head.) Who knows; maybe I will call. Or, on the other hand, maybe it's better that I let my imagination run than know the truth. Sometimes, it's more fun to wonder -- the truth about things like this can be a letdown.