Black vinyl with slanted armrests, homemade by my dad and sent in a cube van after I moved to Edmonton (as a surprise) along with a grey trunk containing, among other surprises, a huge Canadian flag I bought for $10 from I can’t remember where; two chairs that fold out for sleeping, which I sleep on for months until I buy a bed; and a stuffed poodle named Bandit I thought I was too old to care about. (I was wrong.)
I could probably have bought seven couches for the price of this one delivery but none would have had its particular brand of vinyl charm (I crotchet an afghan for it while watching MASH) in an apartment with Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe posters taped above a small unpainted table and bamboo blinds that keep the night out but to my astonishment allow everyone to see in. The flag comes in handy.
The trunk becomes a coffee table and it all feels quite luxurious and one night while eating Old Dutch chips it occurs to me that this is the first place I have ever lived where I don’t have to share a bathroom, the first time in my life where a toilet is entirely mine.
The couch is under a window that faces a parking lot and garbage bins where one night I see someone hanging out with a knife. Are they throwing it away I wonder… or finding it or waiting for someone… or running away from someone. Questions, things forgotten, details.
About that couch: it’s possible I never even sat on it (the chairs were comfier).
image courtesy of wikicommons
Edmonton Couch, 1980’s, the result of memories inspired by Bruce Rice’s ‘Winnipeg Couch’, (from ‘The Trouble with Beauty’, Coteau Books)
Also, I have a thing for couches.