When my friend Jen and I rented an apartment together 10 years ago, I moved most of my belongings in by myself. At the time, Chuck and I were taking a break and I was going through my I-am-an-independent-woman-hear-me-roar phase.
I may have even, ehem, stopped shaving my armpits.
I said may have.
Because the walkway leading to the front door of the apartment was a winter mud and slush pit, I had no choice but to move my things in through the back entrance. The door at the top was nice and wide, but the stairwell was a narrow two-story metal fire escape.
My solo stint was going fine until I got to my futon mattress, which was a double.
If you’ve ever tried to pull or tug on a futon mattress you know that it’s impossible. They weigh a ton, and you can’t get a good grip because its innards are so smushy.
I grabbed the edges and dragged it out of the car, then hogtied it with electrical cords and pushed it towards the stairwell.
What ensued was 45 minutes of grunting, pushing, tugging, grabbing, climbing, swearing, bending, jumping and crying. The cords kept catching on the railing. I couldn’t get a good enough handful of stuffing to pull it. I wasn’t strong enough to push it. I felt like a pencil trying to birth an elephant through my eraser top crotch. But I did it. I finally pushed that Godforsaken mattress
When I leaned against the railing to catch my breath, I looked over and saw that an entire apartment complex had been watching me out of their windows. Watching and laughing. Laughing and watching.
Yesterday, as I carried co-worker Robert’s 20-pound frozen turkey up his creaky, slippery fire escape stairs because he assumed his complimentary ride home included the services of a personal assistant—he even asked me to stop for smokes at the gas station!—I found myself remembering that fateful futon fuck. And I started laughing hysterically.
Life is absurd sometimes, isn't it?
I laughed the whole way home. Laughing while riding through Mulletville felt as good as sex. I felt like a fucking superhero.
I hope you laugh a lot this holiday—even if some dude who smells like cat pee is staring at you like you're crazy as you slap his frozen turkey on his counter and back slowly away.
P.S. If you'd like to read about my Aunt Burty and her affinity for drumstick strumming (as in, her own drumstick), check it out at honestbaby. It's a real whisker biscuit tickler.