The Sofa Of Life


Up to the main street and down a couple blocks is an abandoned convenience store. If you know anyone who’s lost a convenience store, contact me. That person might be the owner and might be looking for it. Surely there’d be a grateful reward for being reconnected to it! But that’s a distraction, and don’t ask from what. It’s not good. But next to the abandoned convenience store is an empty lot that as far as I know is supposed to be there.

One day I noticed there was a couch squatting in the midst of the lot. It seemed in fair shape. It was a bit worn out, a touch tired-looking, but aren’t we all, these days? One could sense it had gone through adventures to reach this point in the couch life cycle. The next day there were two more couches, one about the same size and in brighter upholstery, the other a smaller one not quite small enough to be a love seat. There they sat for nearly a week. And then I drove past and found they were gone.

Where they came from, where they went to, that’s a mystery to me. I imagine the state Department of Environmental Furniture has a general idea of how the herds of things to sit upon move. But I have no reason to think they were tracking this little band specifically. I feel privileged to see even this small slice of the migratory cycles of furniture.

The First Day Of The New Recycling Bin Program


The knock on the door came too early for me, what with it coming at all. Outside was the garbage truck. One of the guys was at the door.

“Are you aware of what trash and recyclables are supposed to go out today?”

We had set out just the trash, saving the recycling in our gigantic and monstrous bin, which was in the back of the driveway, towering over the old recycling bins. Down the block, some neighbors had set out the trash and the old recycling bins. One had set out the trash and the new recycling bin. One had set out just the new recycling bin. One set out the new recycling bin and the old one. One set out a couple of plastic bags. One was curled up beside the new recycling schedule, sucking his thumb and weeping. One had put up a sign that she had fled to Dallas.

“I … thought the schedule said regular trash today and both trash and recycling next week?”

He nodded gruffly, turned back to the truck, and said, “I told you so, Dan!” So I guess there’s been some confusion about the new scheme.

And the new recycling bin chuckled, while the old ones cowered and squirmed over toward the squirrel feeder.