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August 13, 2001: Thoughts on an old friend

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I love this picture of Rebecca. It always makes people do a double-take. I didn't actually take that picture - it showed up one day when I picked up the developed film. Turns out my roommates took it because they knew I'd want the shot. I took others of her doing this same position, even against a wall (with her back-end up on the wall and the front end on the floor), but this is the best one. She's always been a bit odd about how she positions herself, though. She's very good at 'dead cat' poses, where she sits with all four feet neatly curled underneath her , and then just sort of falls to one side, eyes wide and glassy so that when you see her, you have to touch her, just to make sure. She's managed to get poor Richard a number of times already with her odd little postures.

She's lying on a bright yellow couch that was, and will probably always be, one of my favorite pieces of furniture. When we moved out of the dorms into our first apartment, it came furnished, with hideous lamps and end tables and a sofa covered in a green burlap that made you itch if you sat on it with any bare skin touching the fabric at all. The next year I went thrift-store-scrounging and found this sofa. It cost me $30. When we took it out of the truck to carry it up the stairs to the apartment, it was extremely sunny outside and the yellow was so bright it practically blinded us.

It was eight feet long (I know this because we had to measure it when we moved). It didn't matter how dismal and dark the room was we put it in - with that yellow sofa, the whole room woke up and looked cheerful. The cushions didn't quite fit so there was always a gap of several inches on one side or the other, but full-grown adults could stretch out and sleep on it.

My mom always wanted a church pew, and when the church we attended was replacing their old ones, she finally got her wish. Of course, when they moved and bought their house six or seven years ago, one of the requirements was that it had a wall long enough to accommodate the pew. Prior to college I might have teased my mom about this, but after the yellow couch I knew too well what she was looking for. The reason I knew the length of that couch was so because whenever I moved, one of the main requirements of the new apartment was that it had one wall that could accommodate that bright yellow couch.

After I graduated from college, I got a whim to get 'real' furniture and purchased a slate-blue living room set. This necessitated giving away the yellow couch, and a friend took it in for a number of years before finally relinquishing it to the dumpster.

It was old and stained and the cushions sagged and it was a large annoyance to find living spaces with a long enough wall for it, but still, there are days when I really miss that yellow couch.

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