Growing Up + Dead People’s Coffee Tables

It has been brought to my attention that the best way to store your possessions is not in piles on the floor, in cardboard boxes, or in piles on or under the bed. There are lots of different coloured plastic buckets in the Small Fry’s bedroom, and that seems to work for her (its better than it sounds, I promise) but us adults have decided its time to grow up and get furniture.

Living like a student has had its perks so far, but now I’m going to have to deal with a tax return, I need somewhere other than an empty cereal packet to store my Paper Work (everything I do is Paper Work – writing a novel is Paper Work, isn’t it?) so furniture it is.

My friend thinks buying furniture means buying an x box. I’m no better. The last furniture I bought was a pink tub chair. I didn’t actually buy it. I found it in the ginnel. Three days, and it was dry again. Two bottles of Febreeze, and it was a fresh as a daisy.

I lie. I do buy furniture sometimes. Like yesterday. I went to the shop I usually go to when I need large things, because they are cheap and second hand and they deliver and the money goes to help people who are ill, which although I pay tax for that kind of thing too, is actually quite a nice thing to do with your money. I got a really nice white couch from there a couple of years ago. And two brand new wooden bed frames, and a coffee-table.

‘All this stuff is nearly brand-new,’ I’d said, bouncing on a mattress that still had the tags on. I laid back, breathed, lazed, luxuriated like a particularly cheap-skate cat.

‘Why would someone want to give away something as nice as this? It still works, there’s nothing wrong with it?’

(You know the ending to this story, don’t you? Oh yes you do.)

‘Well,’ Mr St Catherine’s Hospice Man said, and coughed, ‘many of our items come to us through, well, um. Bereavement.’

‘Ace,’ I said. And bought the lot. And went back yesterday for a bookcase and a dresser for my backroom (tr. ‘ dining room’).

We’ve all got to die sometime. Someone’s got to get your furniture. It might as well be me.

P.S Creative Writing Workshop People: remember that conversation we tried to have about point of view and tense? Here’s a piece of writing by Sally Cook. Second person, present tense, and moving into future tense at the end. It is hard to do but it works here. I like it. 

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