I should be anywhere, but here. Yet, here is where I am not applying for jobs or finding a new therapist. Instead I am on Tod’s couch. Tod’s couch that lives in Larry’s apartment. Larry’s couch is in my storage unit. Ted decided that it made the most sense to take his ex-boyfriend’s couch and move it into my storage unit while Tod’s couch moved into Larry’s apartment until Tod can get his ex-girlfriend to move her stuff out of their apartment. I don’t know how many other couches have been displaced and re-homed, but I know that I am sitting on the couch of a man I only met last week in the apartment of a man I believe to be his best friend. Ted is the common bond. At some point he worked with Larry or Tod, maybe neither, possibly both. Regardless, at some point Ted and Larry ended up deeply involved together. Until one day, and quite probably on the same couch that is hiding out in my storage unit, Larry became deeply involved in someone else. Being the ever optimistic go-getter Ted volunteered my storage unit for Larry’s couch while Tod’s newly purchased couch moved into Larry’s apartment – until the day finally came when Tod’s ex-girlfriend moved her couch and the rest of her stuff out of Tod’s apartment. Sometimes, while sitting on Tod’s new couch, I think about this and worry that it actually makes sense to me. Personally, all three couches involved here are ugly. Not that I’m judging, mine could easily slip into the rotation incognito and with a warm welcoming.
It is now eight minutes officially past 11:00 PM, and I have no reason for being in Larry’s apartment, on Tod’s couch pouring another glass of wine while Larry is at Ted’s fighting over what belongs to William, Larry or Ted himself, at my apartment. I call it my apartment because according to my license it’s where I live. Really, I sleep there most nights, but that’s the extent of it. William and Ted used to be roommates – neither Ted nor Larry wanted to forfeit their apartments and in turn were not able to move in with one another – until Ted came home and found Larry with William. My understanding is that they were on the Larry’s couch, because Larry was getting his floor’s redone and needed a place to re-home it temporarily. Naturally it made the most sense to Ted to move Larry’s couch from his living room to my storage unit – after all what are neighbors for – until his floors were done. In a matter of three days, Larry’s floors were done and Tod’s ex-girlfriend had promised that this was the weekend she was taking her stuff. Instead, as Tod’s new couch got delivered an hour into his four hour time window, his ex-girlfriend called to say that she had to run to San Jose for the next few days for “work”, but would “totally” pick it up next weekend. Linda’s couch was too heavy, and Tod’s couch easily be slid back on the truck, assuming one or two twenties also slid into the palms of each mover and the driver as well. So, Tod’s new couch was moved into Larry’s due to the open space. Larry’s was moved into my storage unit so Ted did not have to keep two couches in his living room for a few extra days. This was a month ago.
Larry, William, and Ted are fighting over both couches, the rest of the furniture, and anything not spackled into the wall or attached to plumbing. They are fighting in my apartment because someone’s therapist said it was best to have calm discussions in a safe space. They promised me anything else they broke they would replace. Tod has been here since seven not showing his couch to a potential buyer from an online site like his girlfriend was told. I do not know that they have begun negotiations to get back together, and that he is going to give the couch, part of her terms, to Larry for a very discounted price if he and William want it. I do know that this is my sixth glass of wine with a man who doesn’t have have a couch or a life of his own, and who has an awful name. I also know that being here with Tod, who may or may not have a girlfriend means that I am not anywhere else. I refuse to think of where else I could be, or who I could be there with, or worse – who I could be perpetually waiting for, yet again.
After four hours and thirty minutes (11:38 PM) and two bottles of wine, Tod has finally moved his hand from my shoulder to my breast. I finish my glass of wine and turn to face him. He hasn’t had another glass since his fourth. He’s comfortably drunk and happy after one bottle of wine. We kiss, unmatched and poorly aligned. Eventually his hands tumble to his jeans as he looks at me hopefully. His penis, like his couch, belongs to another apartment. It’s not fully erect and doesn’t quite fill the room. It’s over for him before it’s begun. A month was too long for him to be apart from Linda. He goes to the bathroom and washes himself from his hands. I grab the last bottle of chilled white wine on my way to the door. It fits in my over-sized purse. I will not end up where I shouldn’t, at least that’s what I tell myself as my feet pick up the familiar trail. I probably should have left a note or something for Tod, I think as I light my cigarette. Chances are he is relieved. There is no witness for his lackluster performance or his infidelity to his almost contractually reaffirmed girlfriend. There is only the couch, which never truly belonged to him, and two wine glasses needing a wash. It is better for everyone. I wonder if I’m being honest. Is it truly better? Was my belief that I should not have been in my neighbor Ted’s ex-boyfriend Larry’s apartment on Tod’s couch with Linda’s girlfriend correct? Perhaps it depends on where I end up. There are so many couches in the city, only so many can be seen in a night.