The old sofa left this morning. It is gone but the memories, and the stench, still linger

I am indecisive, as a human, so buying something like a new sofa is difficult


The men have gone and I’m sat on my sofa. It is plump and new and I am sinking into it a treat. Occasionally, I bounce lightly upon it, or slouch back, or throw myself across it and lay there clutching a cushion, my feet stretching against its arm. It is my new sofa. An elegant creature. I will never move from it.

The old sofa left this morning, so my head is still a bit scrambled. It is gone, but the memories, and its stench, still linger. It was an old, tatty effort and it was, I suppose, blue. But it was a blue I’d never seen before and if I never see that blue again I will be cool with that, too. That was what inspired my idea of buying a new one. That last one looked bloody horrible. But I’d had it so long, and eaten so many biscuits on it that, really, it had become a part of the furniture.

Nothing lasts for ever, though. And so I began the thorny business of trying to choose a new sofa. I am indecisive, as a human, so buying something of this importance is difficult. I’m the sort of boy whose hand hovers between a ham and egg bloomer and a salmon sandwich in Pret, before suddenly dropping down to a crayfish and rocket, walking to the till, throwing that back towards the fridge and asking for a croissant. So buying a sofa has taken me – from deciding the ‘blue’ one had to go – something in the region of 18 months. Not that I was allowed to decide alone, mind you.

As with all key decisions in my life, my mother was interested in being involved in choosing the sofa. Her agenda was a relatively simple one. At all points, she would try to move the conversation away from ‘sofas’ and towards ‘sofabeds’. For example, when I said “sofa” she would quietly tag on the word “bed” and sometimes she would just say the word “sofabed” apropos of nothing, and then she would put her palm on my head and make me nod. Other times, she would text me the word “sofabed” or phone me to say, “If you get a sofabed, your father and I can stay in your flat a lot”. I took all this into account, but on balance decided that a sofa should be a sofa and only a sofa and, besides, I have two Karrimats that they can implement if they miss the last train or dad gets plastered and they have to crash. I selected a sumptuous ‘sofa’, and made the necessary arrangements to rid myself of what I had.

My old sofa went this morning. I gave it to a boy called Patrick Turpin. A promising young comedian, the lad – in my opinion – needed a sofa. So I had him come round and take mine off my hands. I got quite teary-eyed as he struggled to carry it down to his van. You grow attached to sofas, and as I leant against my radiator and watched him wrestling it from my lounge, its life flashed before my eyes. Time spent plonked on that sofa, ploughing through The Killing, standing on it in order to hang a framed poster of the front cover of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, squatting on it and devouring beans. Canoodling, doodling, napping, clapping and crapping – I’d done the lot on that sofa. I tearfully waved Patrick away and crouched in anticipation of my new one.

The men have gone now. They’d been in this business a while, I think, but even they knew that the sofa they were delivering was special. Firm and comely, like a big berry, charcoal in colour but not in substance, wide, high and elegant, they laid it down in the embers of its predecessor and then hovered awkwardly.

“Would you like to sit on it for a minute?” I eventually said.

One of them began to cry, as they sat greedily upon their delivery. I fed them biscuits and sat with them for an hour or so. And now they have gone. And I am alone. Chilling on my sofa.

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