duck-shaped pain


Where I Feel Like An Adult, For Once

The Leg is still tender, unfortunately. I tried to give it a chance to relax this weekend, but things kept coming up to irritate it further: necessary (I swear!) trips to the mall, work, and oh, yes -- moving furniture. That's guaranteed to make your legs hurt, even if one of them isn't broken.

I had no choice in the matter, though. The furniture had to be moved, and if I didn't do it, it wouldn't be done. So, while I have a sore leg to nurse today, I also now have the first real bed and first real couch of my adult life.

Beds -- I've had sort-of-beds for much too long. When I first moved out, I got a futon. Black metal, black cushion -- about as entry-level as cheap furniture gets. At first, it was firm enough to be Not Quite A Bed. Then, as it softened, it was relegated to Not Quite A Couch status. Then, the mechanism which made it go up and down broke, leaving it stuck in the "down" position. Thus, it entered its third phase of life -- Enormous Black Platform. Nothing I have ever owned, not even my ugly/exquisite 50s lamps or my velvet painting of Jimi Hendrix, has ever visually taken over a room like Enormous Black Platform. And not in a good way -- it was just a black hole that attracted cat hair and the ashes from various smoking projects in a room of otherwise interesting and nearly attractive furniture. Finally, I got rid of it. I gave it away, although that took some work. People can be so resistant to free things.

I have decided that I will never own a futon again, not unless I live in Japan. If that happens, I will have the dignified sort of futon, the ones which you roll up every morning and put in the closet, taking them out only at night.

After I relegated the futon to Not Quite A couch status, I slept on a various assortment of mattresses placed directly on the floor -- some with box springs, some without. This had some advantages -- better than the futon, kept at least one part of the floor from gathering dirt, and if I were to accidentally roll out of bed, I at least would not have far to fall. Still, there's no way to make a mattress laying on the floor look attractive, even though I tried. I had a real bed for about five minutes when I first moved to Oregon -- but right after it was set up, the bed rails broke, so it was back to mattress-on-the-floor-dom. So as to remind people that this was indeed a bed, I placed the headboard of the "bed" at one end of the mattress. It sort of worked -- people didn't mistake it for a trampoline or a enormous pile of clothes, although it certainly resembled both at times -- but it still looked funny.

I acquired my honest-to-god bed and honest-to-god couch from my mother, who is currently in a state of moving from Montrose to here to Denver, maybe, or maybe somewhere else. Nobody knows, really. She had some furniture to get rid of, and since I am the only member of our family without an excessive amount of furniture [1], so she bequeathed the couch and bed to me, in exchange for some work on her website.

The couch isn't new -- we fought over it at a yard sale a few months ago, and my mom won that round. It's more like an enormous loveseat than a full-sized couch. This is just about perfect for me -- I can lay on it and relax, yet is not big enough for others to sleep on, thereby assuring that no one can crash on my couch -- a big plus. Back in those wild Not Quite A Couch days, potentially homeless friends would come over and start eyeing the long black futon, and I knew what they were thinking. It's soft and sort of overstuffed, and covered in a blue/purple/many other colors paisley print.

The bed, however, is more or less new. My mom only bot it about a month and a half ago, and it still has that New Bed smell. It looks like a cast-iron bed, but it's painted a bad shade of beige -- something which will have to be corrected when I have the time. Now that I have it set up, I am remembering the joys of having a real bed -- actual back support, being able to hang clothes on the bedpost, and being able to hide things under the bed. It hasn't been up for more than 24 hours and there are already things under the bed. Nature abhors a vacuum.

Now, I know that real furniture=!real life, but somehow, having it around, makes me feel more...competent, I guess. Not sure why, but it does.

[1] Other families put their money in stocks or go on vacations -- my extended family could do that, if we didn't buy so many chairs (or cars, the other genetically determined weakness). We all have lots of them -- all acquired at yard sales, thrift stores, street curbs and once in a very rare while, bought new. I myself have NINE. I can only sit in one at a time -- what I'm doing with nine chairs, I don't know. None of them match, and only about half are comfortable. Still, they serve a function -- some place to throw the nice dirty clothes (the others just go on the floor).

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