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.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Hilary Mantel in 2003 - years before she released a short story, in which she fantasised about the death of Margaret Thatcher  

In what universe is Hilary Mantel's imaginary assassination of Margret Thatcher worthy of police investigation?

Matthew Norman
Noddy Holder must be glad he wrote 'Merry Xmas Everybody' as he'll earn £800,000 this year from royalties.  

Noddy Holder: A true rock ’n’ roll hero, and a role model for sensible people everywhere

Rosie Millard
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam