Who knows where furniture comes from? It just appears!
Much of my basic furniture is from Amanda and Charlie: bed, dresser, chair, kitchen table. But the place was still looking pretty bare as of this weekend. So.
Furniture comes from alleys….
I saw a table in an alley near my apartment on Sunday. It looked pretty beat-up, but hey — I have almost no furniture, I’m not picky. So I called Amanda for a consultation, since she’s the queen of alley salvaging. We discussed all the angles: What if I couldn’t lift it alone? What if some other family needed it more than me? What if it was too disgusting to be fixed? I pictured myself staggering through the alley with a table and becoming the laughingstock of the neighborhood. We ran through my options.
Among them were:
1) Leave in alley for some other table-less soul.
2) Wait for Amanda and Eliina to come over in a couple hours for our scheduled dinner, and all three of us could carry it. Hopefully it wouldn’t be gone by then.
3) Pick up the table myself and carry it as far as I could; wait for Amanda and Eliina to carry it up the stairs with me.
Amanda reminded me that if I didn’t like it, I could always put it back in the alley for someone else.
While Amanda and I were talking, I watched the table out the window, as people walked by and eyed it. Time was short. So I hung up with Amanda and decided to go over there and at least inspect it for worthiness. Up close, the thing was pretty disgusting, covered in some sort of sticky, fruity-smelling film, like it’d just been used for flip-cup but with wine coolers. But it was desk-sized, and maybe just needed a good scrubbing.
I’m feeling like an idiot at this point for casing a cast-off table with such scrutiny, so I decide to just get it over with and carry it out of The Public Eye. I grab the tabletop with both hands and balance the edge on my waist, with the table legs sticking out. I can barely see over it, but I manage to get it to my back stairs without much struggling, even though my coat is now splotched with its grossness. Buoyed by this success, I then decide to keep going! Onward! Up the back stairs. This proves trickier, for geometric reasons, really. The table is only just wide enough to fit through the stairwell.
And so, of course, I am rounding the second flight of stairs, thinking I can surely make it, when — snap! Off comes a leg, smacked against the side of the stairwell.
Suddenly this outcome seems inevitable. It was all just a cruel joke, wasn’t it, world? Resigned, I stagger back down the stairs and set it down in the alley, one leg missing, before hurrying away.
Amanda tells me this is a good thing. It means it wasn’t that sturdy to begin with, and I’ve saved someone else the trouble of finding that out for himself.
Furniture comes from Doug…
My building manager, Doug, had offered to be the required “adult presence” while my cable got installed on Monday. It was very helpful; I didn’t have to sit at home on a Saturday waiting and waiting for the cable guy. In fact, I walked home from work Monday night thinking, what a stroke of good luck. No waiting for the cable guy. What a nice building manager.
And then I opened the door to my apartment and there was a funky-legged glass coffee table and a vintagey wood end table that were definitely not there before. So — of course, amazed — I called Doug. “Doug…. there’s some extra furniture here… and… I was wondering if it was from you…?” And it was.
He said that he’d had stuff in the basement, left behind by previous tenants. And he’d come to this country from Serbia without much of anything and he could see, while in my apartment, that I didn’t have much of anything at the moment. So! Now I am a few tables richer. Totally made my day.