I must be stronger than I look.
This is something that I reflect upon whilst grappling with one end of a wardrobe. Made somewhere around 1904, it’s better constructed, heavier, than most cars. Roughly nine feet tall and four, maybe feet wide, perhaps three feet deep, it once housed clothes, boots, a secret passage to Narnia.
Willie has retrofitted it to hold his CDs, all 1200 of them which are now lying, alphabetically, on the floor in another room.
All we have to do is move this wooden behemoth from one end of the house to the other.
I close my eyes, just for a moment. The day has been an endurance test. Still reeling from last night’s Halloween party, I’ve managed to feed and dress myself. I have not, however, bothered retouching my hair (carefully wrapped/preserved from the night before) or makeup.
Grunting, my mind starts running through all the items that have been moved.
You see, there’s a new couch. And a La-Z-Boy. And an entertainment center.
Not that we don’t have all those things. We do. They were free, they were old. The couch in particular was a leather, Caucasian-tinted hand-me-down, a color many of my friends and relatives – especially in the mid-winter months – could not sit on without disappearing almost entirely.
Was it just an hour ago, my hands then splinter-free, that we had taken a door off its hinges, wrestled a large, square club chair and ottoman down a flight of steps and out the front, where it was abandoned, a large sign - “FREE!” - taped to it?
“I don’t think this is a good idea,” Willie had said. “I don’t like the idea of leaving it in the yard here.”
“RAwRRRrrr grrr ackle rawr,” I said.
Willie stared at me. “You’re not the only one, you know.”
“GrrRarrrr acker rawr rawr,” I point out.
“Fine,” he said.
A car slows down at this point.
And then another car.
“Hmm!” Willie said, smiling. “Looks like this is going to work anyway! Look at all the people slowing down to get a look at it!”
And that was an hour ago. Now, on the second floor, Willie and I tussle with the wardrobe. Akin to moving an undrained waterbed, we are both sweating, both making interesting, perhaps feral noises.
“Just another few feet,” Willie says, “and this wave will be done.”
And the light bulb went off in my head.
And I begin to laugh. I have to set my end down.
Willie smiles, rests, too. “What’s so funny?”
“The cars!” I say. “All those cars slowing down!”
I shake my head. “They weren’t slowing down because of the awesome chair,” I say.
And then he realizes, too.
The chair, by the way, is gone by morning.