The rope was synching tight around three fingers on my right hand. If the loop closed, I knew I’d either break ’em, or possibly lose ’em. The world was snapping into slow motion. That’s when I knew things were taking a turn for the dramatic.
Worlds don’t snap into slow motion over menial things like pouring the morning coffee. That only happens for catastrophes like train wrecks, collisions with gravel trucks, or hoisting a couch up over one’s balcony.
The whole thing was supposed to take no more than two or three hours. Would have been on track too, but for that damned beloved white leather couch of mine.
The day started well enough. I walked to U-Haul from my apartment to pick up a truck. Put the last of my stuff into a large cardboard box and waited for help to arrive.
Then Frank called. He was stuck in Vaughn on his motorcycle. Pouring rain. He wasn’t going anywhere.
Lisa and Andy showed up and within 45 minutes, we had everything out of my apartment and on the truck. My couch was the trickiest part of the operation – and I knew it would be.
Everything came off the truck with relative ease upon arriving at my new place. We kept walking onto the truck, passed the couch, towards the next item that could be easily carried up the stairs. Each trip, we eyed that couch with the same sense of undiluted pleasure, as one might experience looking forward to a tax audit. The stairs were narrow, and there were two tight turns.
Then it started to rain.
So now we were standing in the rain, my beloved white leather couch jammed half-way into the entrance of my new place getting wet, and it became painfully clear that my couch was not going to fit up the stairs – and it was raining.
And I needed to return the truck within the hour.
I fished a tarp out of the truck of my car, where I keep my camping stuff. Twenty minutes later my couch was sitting outside, beside the house, where it was very much NOT inside my living room. It was under my tarp at least, but I took little comfort in knowing this scenario was the best possible option for me, my beloved white leather couch, and my immediate need to return the truck.
An hour later, I found myself sitting on Frank’s couch. Truck was returned, Andy was driven home, and Lisa was off, getting to something she delayed so she could help me with the move.
Frank was cooking pasta. His friend Ethan picked him up in Vaughn and took him home. He invited me over for supper because he felt bad for missing out on the move. He also mentioned that he has some expertise in hoisting couches up over balconies. Did it a couple of times for Donna, who lives on the third floor.
Two hours later, I was rigging my balcony with rope I had just bought from Canadian Tire. I used to be a boy scout you know – used to occupy my time in school tying a whole variety of knots while the other kids doodled, or listened to the teacher, or whatever. I was beyond comfortable with the prospects of getting my couch up over my balcony rail, and into my living room from there.
This all flashed through my mind as the loop closed tighter around my fingers.
Frank left his rope in the hands of Ethan’s failing grip, to grab my line, for just long enough for me to get my fingertips out of harm’s way.
My beloved white leather couch was dangling about 8 feet off the ground. There was no way we were getting it up any further than that. Not enough manpower.
This moment marked the highlight of my night. We lowered the couch and gave up.
Frank eyeballed my staircase once more. “We can get it up. We just need to remove the rail get a couple things out of the way.”
I expressed my doubts, but then Ethan got in on the action, showing enthusiasm for Frank’s idea. Perhaps it did indeed seem like a good idea, or perhaps it was simply the image of my couch sitting upside down in a flowerbed, being dripped on by a leaky eavestrough, that was influence enough for me to reach desperately towards any solution that might improve my situation.
Thirty minutes later we were right back where I was nine hours earlier with Andy and Lisa. The only difference being countless more scratches, scuffs and moisture bestowed upon my beloved white leather couch.
I’m writing this from my perch overlooking Gerrard Street East, sipping coffee and musing about my day. My couch is under a tarp outside, and professional movers will be coming this afternoon, to hoist it up, onto my balcony and into my living room.
I slept in my new bedroom last night. I’m half unpacked. I’m thinking about digging out my bathroom stuff and taking a shower. Sunlight is washing over me, and just prior to writing this article, I found myself googling, ‘repairing a leather couch’.
It’s not much, but as Bob Marley would say, ‘Everything’s gonna be alright, everything’s gonna be alright, everything’s gonna be alright…”