On Saturday, an important chapter in my life finally closed.
My first apartment was affixed to a house and boasted one bedroom, a tiny kitchen and bathroom, and a very spacious living room. It was located in one of those nice neighborhoods where kids played in neighbors’ yards and no one cared.
It was also insanely cheap, only $300 a month, because the lady who rented it was looking for college students in need of cheap (but clean) living quarters. Being freshly graduated, I still felt enough like a college student to inquire. I convinced the lady that I was the most boring person on the planet (which was true at the time), so she could have no fear of parties or distasteful shenanigans. I signed a one year lease and felt like an actual adult.
I had no furniture when I moved in. I ate on plates and with cutlery bought from Dollar General. I couldn’t afford a frame for my futon mattress, so every night was just like camping. I lived out of suitcases and boxes until I could find someone to bring me my old dresser from home. I ate while seated on the floor until a friend took pity and gave me a dining room set straight from the early Nineties. (I liked it, though. It was mine and took some of the echo out of the room.) My television was on loan from my landlady.
Then G. walked into my life. He was a friend of a best friend and worked as a programmer for a big business in a large city. He was also one of those typical frat guys that nailed any female that stood still long enough. His idea of a good time involved condoms and cheap vodka. I was insanely attracted to him. I have no idea why. It’s one of those weird things that happens when there are too many hormones in the bloodstream.
G. eventually discovered my living conditions and he was more amused than anything. When his parents were getting rid of furniture, he asked me if I wanted their cast off couch and armchair. He would even haul it over. The last time I said yes that fast, it was for my first mixed drink (New Years Eve, 1999, and it was a mimosa).
He and his brother brought the stuff in and I luxuriated while sitting on the couch. My own couch in my own living room. It didn’t matter if the wood embellishments on the arms had fallen off long ago. And it didn’t matter if it was someone else’s trash. It held my weight, didn’t stink, and was a lovely shade of green.
A couple of years later, after G. became a rather embarrassing memory, I married the hot IT guy at the local library. (What can I say? Geekery is cute.) In preparation of marriage, I moved into the place we would call home to set up housekeeping. The battered green couch and (not so battered) armchair also came with me.
The couch was almost tossed after the wedding. The Husband had his own beloved couch and wanted to bring it over. But I wasn’t ready to let go, so we compromised. His recliner could come but the couch stayed.
As time wore on, the seat sagged and tiny foster dogs learned that if they tore at the cloth underneath, they could climb into the couch itself. One of the cushions split open. I forget if it was caused by an animal or one butt too many. Then, one day, a leg snapped off. The Husband propped the corner up with a block of wood but the green couch’s days were numbered. As soon as we could afford it, we would get a replacement.
On Saturday, the green couch was dragged out for the last time to make way for a futon. A nice one with a wooden frame and springs in the mattress. You can even lift flaps on the side for a small table on which to rest drinks.
It was kind of sad, looking at the beat up couch on the front porch. Though I still have the armchair, the couch was where I had spent most of my living room time. I slept on it. For those times when my back was out or I was sick, I made a little nest of pillows and blankets on it.
But, most of all, it was part of my first foray into adulthood. It’s not so much the item as the memories attached to it. The most simplest and mundane of things can have great meaning attached to it. Perhaps part of being an adult is knowing when to let go.
So, goodbye Green Couch. We had some good times but now it’s time to move on.