Annette was traveling from Billings, Montana (BIL) to Biloxi (GPT) to see her younger sister who had taken early retirement. It was a difficult flight to book as both her point of origination and her destination were secondary cities according to both Kayak and Expedia. Her trip therefore was a dance of connecting flights and long layovers. Finally, in Chicago, at the impossible O’Hare airport (ORD), waiting for her last connecting flight, Annette surrendered to impulse and lay her weary body down in a shiatsu massage chair. Selecting the kneading and vibrating feature, Annette soon found herself enveloped inside the chair as it pushed the whole left half of her body towards her right hip. At first the chair seemed to work miracles, kneading and folding Annette’s stiff body into an unexpected suppleness. But as the massage continued, the chair revealed its murderous intent. The pokes and prods grew more violent. Annette cried out for help but no one seemed to notice. A particularly frisky young traveler with gummy hands stood in front of Annette and laughed at her as if she were a cartoon character. Annette tried slipping from the chair’s grip but it wouldn’t let her go. Her feet, locked in the chair’s boots, were held tight. Her body, undulating at crazy amplitudes, seemed strapped in forever. Annette could sense her life force slipping from her when her last hope, a particularly perky sales associate caught her eye and reminded her to remove her shoes. At that moment, as if insulted by Annette’s lack of respect, the chair folded her together for one last fatal crack.
January 21, 2014
by Lee Eiferman