November 20, 2010

The Couch

“Goddamit! It’s my couch. I had it made. I saw it in a catalog, went to the goddamn furniture maker and had it made. I’m sorry if you thought it was yours, but it’s not! You obviously didn’t hear me correctly. It’s mine and I want it back! Okay?”
“Yes, Goddamit!”
“No. You gave it to us. You said if I helped you move the other couch -- the couch that you really wanted, the one-tonner which gave me a hernia -- that you’d give us this couch. Give. Not loan.”
“Gimme my couch!”
“You sound like a petulant child.”
“It’s mine! And you… you… you’re getting married! And have a great girl who loves you and I don’t even have a date, or a prospect of a date other than a 24-year-old intern who I mistakenly… Goddamit! You have my couch!”

Abe was surprised when Mary showed up at his place for the couch the next day. He thought it was just one of her outbreaks, which would pass like a spring storm. He was even more surprised she'd actually talked the intern into moving it for her.

The problem was, Abe had genuinely grown to like the couch. It had been his first bit of decorating genius to use half the couch as a booth at the dining table, and leave the rest behind in the family room, thus connecting the two rooms with the symmetry of shared school-bus yellow benches. It was perfect.

The other problem: Abe was all too used to Mary’s shit.

“So you’re going to pay my insurance bill for the hernia surgery right?”
“Shut up. Are you going to help or not?”
“No. I can’t on principle alone. Sorry… what was your name again?”
“Right, no offense Gavin, but I can’t help you out here. It’s my couch. You’re basically stealing from me right now.”
“Just move the couch, Gavin,” said Mary.
“Don’t mark up any walls or the HOA will fine you. I can’t begin to stop them; they’re too powerful.”

Gavin struggled mightily with the couch, as Mary, per usual, was no help at all, and basically just in the way. Abe couldn’t stop with the bitterness, though. 

“You know, I got a bad feeling about that couch being moved. It’s bad karma. Something terrible is going to happen to that couch.” 
“You’re so predictably annoying.” 
“Maybe your dog will eat it?”

Gavin doesn’t say anything. He bears it valiantly, a young Adonis carrying the weight of Mary’s world.

“Maybe you’ll light it on fire when you fall asleep with a cigarette in your mouth some un-monitored drunken night. Then poof. No more couch. Oh the irony.”

Mary even has to smile at that one. Until she sees Gavin pushing a little too hard trying to make the couch fit in the truck. “Whoa. Whoa! Easy.” Gavin dutifully obeys.

Gavin finishes up the job. He got a good sweat going.

AdPock likes his stoic way. He offers him his hand. “Good to meet you, Gavin.”

Gavin just looks at Abe. He looks down at the hand with trepidation. Timidity.

“What? You don’t want to shake my hand?” Abe’s not used to being disliked. At least not at first impression.

Gavin is unsure of himself, but he won’t give Abe his hand.

Abe’s eyes search Gavin’s. He isn’t quite mad. He’s not quite offended.

Gavin's decision solidifies. “No. No I don’t think I will. I think you’re being mean. To you.” He says this to Mary and walks away quietly. He gets into the truck and waits for her.

Abe just looks at Mary, who has a growing smile. The two have exchanged much in their days.

“I hope nothing happens to your couch,” Abe says reluctantly.

After a hug and a kiss, Mary gets in the truck with Gavin. They drive off, taking the couch to a new home.