28 November 2010

craigslist-->st louis, MO-->free-->chair (reupholster)

My darling fiance and I were on a mission.

Last month we'd met for lunch at Trattoria Marcella, and as we left,  I'd bumped shoulders with a sizable man with a tousled beard. He walked on, but not before muttering "fuckin' yuppies" underneath his smoky breath. Never having heard the word before, we were both curious as to the definition.

As it turns out, "yuppie" is a shortened slang term from the 1980s for young urban professional. Furthermore, it carries a negative connotation, as Webster also mentioned it is used disparagingly. The same remark follows the words "nigger" and "kyke". We were livid.

And so began the mission aforementioned: Dissolve all prejudice behind this word that this bigot of a man had stuck in our side.

Thrift stores certainly were not an option, being in such poor taste, so we agreed to fill our new studio apartment on Washington Avenue with free furnishings from craigslist.com instead. We wanted furniture with a history, spoken from the putrid dry-rot of a coffee table, or tomato sauce tears of a microwave, preferably from the proletariat. I mean the true plebeian, the great unwashed, they who have discovered fantastical means of deriving nutrients from gravel.

Last week we had our first major success-- a nonworking piano with what we imagine to be menstrual fluid on the B sharp and C flat keys. Needless to say, we were ecstatic.

 Taylor and I took the entire week off, celebrating with a new dress from Neiman's and strong pours of Ketel One on the rocks. We were not expecting much after such a marvelous victory, and planned to tone it down. So this morning we had come across a mediocre offer for a chair in need of new upholstering, and knowing our dear friend Skylar would just be dying to work his magic on it, as this was his specialty, we agree to inspect it in person, as there were no pictures.

"green chair, 70s styling, various rips with stuffing visible. must pick up. arrange 
4100 connecticut"

As my dear Taylor stands, the elevator's shifting depth has no effect on her insides, as her mind is already sitting in the chair, steeping in the must and stale smoke like her Fair Trade Certified green tea, curled up inside the rapture of Austen's masterpiece Pride and Prejudice. As she treads through the covered parking, she also glides with purpose, kept secret from the outside world like a wild butterfly through the plains of Indonesia. There is no smile on her face, for she take these matters as being composed of high seriousness. This is why I love her.

As the GPS tells us the prize is less than two blocks away, a large group of African American adolescents is congregating on the street corner, gazing at our Denali as we are stopped at a stoplight. Taylor reaches for the lock button at the center console. I gently arrest her finger's path.
"We're better than that."

We arrive and excitement cannot help but prevail. The house is dilapidated, the patch of grass has not been maintained, a window is broken, the stairs are unswept, the door is open. 
"I'm going to stay inside the car."

Not quite understanding her reasoning, though I think in all likelihood it was to verify the floral arrangements for September, I stepped out into the poorly paved world of the southside, as they call it. I walk through the threshold of the doorway, and immediately a toddler, wearing nothing but a dishrag haphazardly pinned across his waist, darts across the foyer in the midst of a queer shriek-song, strained through his bite-sized vocal cords.


Thoroughly impressed, I continue into the family room, and what I see is spectacular; what I smell is sensational. An honest baby splashes around in the dusty floor with cat manure in her hand. Taking the beauty in as best I can, it is here I realize I am standing on a syringe, the same kind they use to inject drugs into their bodies. I am overwhelmed at my bliss. Closing my eyes, I suck the experience into my lungs, wishing it to stay lodged there safely until forever.

A hacking from behind a cigarette's ember the unlit corner calls me back. My eyes adjust to very real lady, slumping in the chair, the prize. She points to the television set asking if I'd seen this episode of Idol.
"No, but I've actually met Ryan Seacrest in Miami last winter, and we had a really lengthy conversation about Obama's healthcare plan, which was actually really funny."

She did not ask for me to elaborate, which was certainly upsetting, because it really is a really funny story. I switch to business. I mention the chair. She struggles to speak.
"What are you? Who are you here?"

I assume she has either forgotten her posting or this was not her house. But neither changes the fact that I desire the chair. I take note of the white powder spread out atop the table next to her feet, then improvise a plan of brilliance.
"Are you going to 'rail' those?"
"What are you say? Yeah."

She strains herself to move forward, repositioning for the inhale. As she leans, I pull the chair out from under her and raise it over my head, short-hop the baby, and dash out the front door. Not a trace of fluff is left in the trail. The feeling of ownership is promptly born. It is all ours now.

Taylor's eyes are on fire from the passenger seat. I do not even wait for the automatic trunk opening, but rather open it manually, set the chair inside, and close it. It's official. I tell Taylor not to speak until we've reached the highway. Later, as the elevator rises, I inform her that the lady was a bit odd, making it a stipulation that if we were to take it, I must run away with it. She thought it absolutely hysterical and could not get over it for weeks, an absolute riot she calls it. She will make a great wife.
What I cannot get over is that in the craigslist posting the word "reupholster" is spelled correctly. Weeks later, I realize I had missed the correct numbers when typing in the address on my iphone, and we did not go to the correct house. Regardless, the chair looks phenomenal in our new studio apartment on Washington Avenue, and I have no doubts that burly bearded men now think twice before branding such an asinine label on me and my bride-to-be.

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