Getting the Chair

A writer discusses setting up a home office that folds up.

I got something really cool today.

Yes, it’s comics related, I guess, but it’s also an important piece of how I work as a person.

Writing is a very strange, very weird act. Take a look at what Stephen King did with his writing room sometime and you’ll see what I mean. But for me, I need someplace relatively free of distractions. When you have a limited living space, this means getting… creative.

See, I tell Kay this frequently enough, but my very best college assignments were done in the bathroom. It’s quiet. Peaceful. No distractions, just me, a laptop, and occasionally a TV tray so I wasn’t hunched over. Laptops are not meant for laps, people, especially after six hours. It’s also where I did a lot of reading as a kid, despite the grumbling of other people.

So when I felt like I needed a space to write separate from a computer with the entire internet and Metal Gear Solid V on it, I found a floor chair. A floor chair is exactly what it sounds like: a chair without legs, so it goes on the floor. It’s currently folded up against the wall between my bed and Shelf 9 of 22, and will stay there very likely until I move. That spot is smaller than any bathroom stall you’ll find outside of an airport, but far more comfortable.

Here’s why the floor chair, my little six-changer, is amazing.

1: Fold mode

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This is the folded mode. It’s easy to carry, though the little pillow isn’t attached. It’s easy to tuck away, easy to deal with, and damnit, it looks cool. It’s also extremely light, weighing little more than a metal folding chair.

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2: Chair mode

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Ladies and gentlemen, the starring attraction: the chair itself. It’s nicely compact, but I don’t feel squished when I sit in it. The armrests are surprisingly comfortable, feeling nothing like resting on hard metal. The pillow is perfect for back support, keeping my posture straight and a very familiar pain from jutting through my body. Yes, it’s just a chair, but if you look you’ll see that I have included more in the process. It’s a perfect reading spot, so I’ve left myself a gap on the shelf to place whatever I’m reading at the time. It may seem like a distraction, but reading and taking in new media is a far cry better than listening to things I’ve heard a million times before.

3: Lounge mode

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Ah, now we start seeing just how different this is. Lounge mode folds the seat outward, leaving a longer place to stretch my legs out. I tend to sit cross-legged and do everything to keep the flats of my feet from touching the floor, so this is wonderful. It’s relaxing and cozy, and I can still read and work from here just fine. You might think removing one of the cushions would be unpleasant, but nothing could be further from the truth. It’s comfortable all on its own. Speaking of removing the cushion…

4: Double mode

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To my delight, seat cushion can be unzipped from the chair itself and used as its own seat. In the event that I wanted someone there with me, no one would have to sit in an uncomfortable spot, or squat near me. They would just sit on the cushion while we, and by we I really mean me and my writing partner, got to working in a calm, easy way.

5: Mattress mode 1

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Yes folks, there is indeed more: the chair’s back folds all the way down, the armrests flattening with it, creating a makeshift mattress. The seat cushion, naturally, unfolds to give it its full length, and the pillow can go at the foot of the bed or be used naturally as a pillow. For people who sleep normally, this is perfect. I’m very likely to bring this on family outings so that small children aren’t stuck on couches, crappy air mattresses or sleeping bags (memories of camping still haunt me), though the fabric is just a bit rough, so I’ll likely suggest some sheets. Or you can put the sleeping bag on top of it. Either way, it’s perfect for a nap (though I know if I ever nap in that chair, I will very likely use it to nap all the time.) But, fortunately, I require a little more to be comfortable enough to sleep, and this isn’t even its final form.

6: Mattress mode 2

 

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This one is really a pseudo-combination. I need to sleep with my head elevated, and the back of the chair folds forward a bit independently of the hinge that moves it to Folding Mode. Why, I do not know. But by resting it against a wall, I can grab a pillow (like the one that came with the chair, how handy!) and curl up on it.

There it is, a six-shifter, and a remarkable one at that. This makes me particularly happy not just because it’s a chair, but because I so rarely get the opportunity to find something that works for me without having to do some MacGyver, Mickey Mouse, bailing twine and chewing gum nonsense, this was a miracle. It came out of the box and worked. It’s something that makes my life easier and I don’t have to fight it, not one bit. I have to fight the world to get just about everything to work – hell, I need to get a writing desk over there and that’s going to involve screws, woodworking and more – but this one thing, this one little thing, doesn’t require me to do anything at all. It’s just a chair, with fabric I can touch without wincing and that fits where it needs to.

You gotta take your victories where you can get them, and your fun the same way. Having something that hugely helps me do the one thing I want to do most in the world, write, is a hell of a victory. And calling it a six-shifter is so much goddamn fun I don’t have the words.

Of course, there’s more. Not too long ago, I had a miniature ‘desk’ cobbled together from a kids’ clothesbin on wheels, one that opened on the side that my cat slept in. With her passing, I chose not to use it anymore. Instead, I got a laptop desk that folds up and slots on the little, otherwise useless shelf. It’s at a perfect height to keep my posture straight. It’s got a mousepad, which I think we all know can be a nightmare for laptops. And despite the fact that I was looking for finished wood, this actually plugs in! I didn’t know they made desks like that. This means a fan for if I ever get something with more power, several USB slots to plug things in like my phone, and a little LED reading light. It’s neat, compact, and exactly what I need to make this all easier.

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For the longest time, I tried to figure out how to overcome various disabilities – Nonverbal Learning Disorder, anxiety, and others – to fit in like other people manage to. In a lot of ways, I’ve failed to do that. In a lot of ways, this is a good thing. I don’t need to find what makes me more like other people, I need to do what makes me happy. My world’s changing a fair bit, and for the first time, it’s changing in a way that’s more like the world I want, rather than the world I was told I needed in order to succeed in life. Or, in the case of some, the world I was told I would never succeed in.

To the naysayers, you can all go fuck yourselves. To everyone elseā€¦ I’m really happy with my new office.


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