Mark and I took our white couch, the main furniture piece of our "non-bedroom" room to the dump today. We were compelled to do this after being told by many thrift stores that they would not accept our donation. A hand-me-down from the Nachtrieb family, it was time to let it go and replace it with a "new" hand-me-down couch from the Nachtrieb family: this time it's a leather one that sat in my Dad's law office for many many decades, a gift from his mother, and now has a new life as part of a Mission District apartment.
The white couch was a little tattered. Shreds of fabric on the sides where two cats over 20 years had worked their claws into the side. Metal coils protruded out the bottom when we looked at the underside, having snapped off when an enthusiastic sit from one of us would break the metal attachment holding the coil to the wooden frame, something that had been happening with more and more frequency. It was a little dirty. In its 7 years in San Francisco, it has been part of many meals, sleepover guests, countless movies, and various significant developments in Mark and mine's relationship. Numerous sleepover guests remarked on the comfort of the couch, its lenghtyness, softness, and general welcoming vibe being a satisfying bed to many. It was also a little scratchy to bare skin. Occassionally a weird smell would waft through our apartment for a couple days. It was probably the couch.
Going farther back, the couch had been witness to numerous Christmases and present openings back at our Mill Valley house, where it occupied the important living room couch spot (it was too big for my parent's later San Anselmo digs). Brother George would often take a mid-afternoon nap on it on Christmas day. Multiple dinner parties started near the couch, with brie and paté and cornichons always nearby. Guitar playing, countless books read, the couch has been sat on for many many years.
At the dump, we carefully placed the couch on the cement, putting all the cushions back into place for one, last time. Mark and I sat in it together and had a smooch. In the distance, a large forklift scooped up the debris of other folks and dumped them into huge metal tins.
That Christmas Tree story by Hans Christian Anderson is like the saddest story ever!