I think I want to earn a whole tonne of money. Determinedly stated. To his father. He expects some kind of nod, audible over the phone somehow and then to be made privy to some simple secret. Like all you have to do is talk like you mean it. Or all you have to do is say that you have the will and you will.
Success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration, says father.
That is old.
What’s the inspiration here? Money? No. Wait. Furniture. Yeah furniture.
I was looking at this furniture website with really nice stuff on it. I mean, some of it… a lot of it is rubbish and doesn’t look good but some of it is just incredible you wouldn’t believe and you look at it and you think I want that chair and it’s just a picture of the chair but you imagine this entire world and lifestyle around it and that’s what I want. I was looking at this chair and it had just fucking incredible lines and it had padded leather on it. It was so just so elegant. It was old fashioned antiquated warm homely honesty and straight up sex just sexy fucking curves like a casino with this sheen that is barely there yet manages to evoke a painfully beautiful scene in modern times where people still love to just sit and feel good and I’m there just sat in it reading a book and I have slippers on and my red setter is laying between me on the chair and the fire but it’s not something tacky it’s all incredibly warm and I could even smoke a pipe ‘just so’ and it would still not be tacky. Not tacky at all. And there is a view of a city as if I’m in the penthouse of some NY skyscraper with a giant glass window I mean there isn’t even a wall the entire thing is glass and it’s dusk and the sky is a beautiful orange gradient with these sleek black buildings cutting through it but I’m in this chair which is like Sherlock Holmes if he was a sultry lady chair. It is representing olden modern times Dad. It is just a ridiculous thing for a chair to be able to do. To evoke that I mean. The power of a chair. I never thought of it ever.
But it costs nearly two thousand pounds. I never knew why expensive furniture cost so much but now I know. It is because it nudges you closer to a fantasy. It curves your mind with its angles and lines. And that’s just one item on the website. Another chair gave me an incredible vision of a workshop like the chair could be in a workshop but also as if you would sit and watch tv in it. This world where your living room is carpeted in a deep green and there’s porcelain ornaments on your shelves but also there’s wood shavings strewn around and some kind of Pinocchio workbench, like Geppetto would have if you imagined it if you’d never seen the cartoon and there’s a smell of just this gorgeous deep forest wood smell like you’re rafting in Alaska just smelling the pines and feeling the ebb of the river and your video player is in a little mahogany drawer unit under the television, ‘just so’ and even though all of that sounds like it can’t sit right next to itself it can because of this chair, this chair that makes it all possible. Damn, Dad, I didn’t even mean to tell you about that chair in any kind of detail, you see how powerful this furniture is?
How can a chair evoke a drawer?
I don’t know dad! But it’s doing it!
Since when were you interested in furniture?
I don’t know, I was just looking for a desk, I need a desk by the way, Dad, and I just found some incredible things. Just delightful things.
So you weren’t even looking for a chair?
Well not really but I will need to sit at the desk so it follows that I would have had to look for one eventually. Also lights. I was looking for lights. I was thinking I need a floorstanding lamp, actually. I went on the thing and they are hundreds of pounds. It doesn’t make any sense. They tell you the dimensions of it, they tell you what it’s made of and they show you pictures and you think ‘you know what I could make that for a quarter of the price IF THAT’. But then you click on some of them and they’re just so perfect you think there’s magic involved and you think I couldn’t make that it’d be like trying to make an adult woman’s leg just how do they do it and it’s that bit there that costs six hundred pounds.
They had one lamp which was a sculpture of a horse, full size, with a lamp on its head. Imagine! Put that in your sitting room and the world turns upside down does it not?
Why would you?
Why wouldn’t you? So Dad, listen, to get all of these things I need money for this. I need to get rich. I just need to know how I go about doing that and don’t please say the thing about perspiration and inspiration can’t you lend it to me?
Ha! You'll be lucky.
Yeah well I’m a pretty lucky guy. Remember when I ran across the road when I was a kid because mum was on the other side at the shop and I’d just got out the house and seen her there and run across and ran straight between two cars going the one way and straight between two cars going the other way just missing bumpers and bonnets on both sides just running in a straight line and I got to mum without a scratch? Remember that? That was lucky. Mum fainted it was so lucky.
You know son, I’m a great believer in luck, and I find that the harder I work, the luckier I am.
Blah blah... Ok whatever Dad but I didn’t have to work hard to not get hit by those cars. I don’t know, I was just, I wasn’t seeing what the point was in wealth and I was thinking you know if you just have enough for food and shelter and a bit of fun then that’s fine, no? That is enough. But then I saw this furniture and I just thought oh I want this furniture so much, I want to sit on that chair and, and imagine if I went into my bedroom and I could turn on that lamp it would be so nice, not like just turning on a lamp but like a click to signify something. A click that makes you feel special, a click to reassure, a tangible manifestation of happiness. This nice bed with the complementary bedside cabinets. All the value you put on your own personal physical universe is embedded in the quality of those clicks of lamps and the way they react, the sound and weight of crystal glasses clinking together, the way your mattress comforts and supports you. I know what it’s like to have one or two very good quality, very nice items, and how satisfying they feel to use. I want every item in my home to do that, to make me feel excellent and calm just by utilizing and appreciating their function. That would be so sweet. So satisfying.
A man who loves his job will never work a day in his life.
Old old old Dad. It’s not true, everything becomes repetitious and boring. I can hardly think of any careers which might keep interest piqued. Actor. Rock star. Politician. Fine artist. War general. Um, Scuba diver. Maybe.
…I feel sad that I am not rich in the time of full size horse lamps.
Is your heart heavy son?
My heart is so heavy it is in my foot, dad. It is fit to burst. It carries the weight of the world.
Don't be so melodramatic.
I don’t want to be rich. It’s just that the things I want are very expensive.
You are submitting to consumerism, son.
No… no this is different. This isn’t about status, or waste, or… ownership. Showing off. This isn’t about unnecessary excess, this is necessary stuff, this is about a higher level of aesthetic appreciation, about being happy in your environment, feeling peace, achieving a calm satisfaction with the minutiae of everyday living. Imagine if your home felt like a second skin, felt that comfortable. You come home and when you step in the front door every action is as pleasurable and intuitive as scratching your nose. You sit in a chair with the warmth and comfort of a deep yawn. Flicking a light switch is as perfect a motion as tucking your hair behind your ear. The table exists with you.
You sound like an advert.
No. Shhhh. I’m thinking. I’m breaking through.
You hate adverts.
Not by default and no I don’t sound like an advert anyway. What am I selling?
My guess is you're selling furniture.
Son you need to realise what you’re expressing here.
No Dad, you need to realise what I’m expressing here. This is the art of living and I’m a nascent impressionist.
What does that even mean?
It means I’m a phenomenon waiting to happen.
I know a father is supposed to encourage his son to be whatever he wants to be but what is it exactly you want to be now? You’re nearly thirty by the way.
Don’t belittle me dad. Don’t condescend. You should fund me. You’ll see. Method living…
What makes you think I…. What makes you think?
What makes me think? What makes me think? The hell kind of question is that? Trust me dad, I am channeling something extra-dimensional here. I can heal the world through example. People will see, a life in the womb, an endless ecstasy with no need for the flipside, no anchor in horror required. Life as silk.
You want to be an interior designer?
No. God. I will be the… ulterior designer. You will see how the world fits around me. Now help me get started.