The Adopted Coffee Table
BY FRANCISCO MACIEL
Peoples first reaction when I mentioned I’d be moving in with a girl was that we’d end up dating, together, fucking, or in some way in a messy situation. They weren’t wrong but they weren’t right either. Living with someone of the opposite sex is like a sexless marriage in some respects. You pick furniture together, you split house chores between the two of you, you cook dinner together, and you help each other pick outfits. She’d go on job interviews and have me help her with picking out an outfit. I’d shave my beard and ask for her input for how it’d look better.
This sexless marriage began the first night at the apartment. I went for a jog to leave her alone on Skype with her boyfriend. It always felt a bit odd sitting in the room while she Skyped with him. It was a reminder that us being together wasn’t a possibility. Those reminders would become more frequent as our time together developed.
Jogging was never something I liked. It always felt like pointless work. I wanted to get to know the neighborhood though and figured a nightly jog would be nice. The neighborhood we lived in was very posh, the average income was well into the six figures! We used to joke around that we dragged the average down.
Our apartment was a mess with all of our stuff, and yet we were missing a lot of typical apartment things; coffee table, couch, kitchen table. While I was out I ran across a coffee table. One persons garbage is another’s treasure. It was a nice table! One problem though, would she be fine with taking a table off the street into our house? I wasn’t sure. That wasn’t gonna stop me from trying though! I also knew that she loved getting stuff for free, not to say she’s cheap but like any young student she recognizes that a good deal is a good deal.
I ran back to the apartment and pitched the idea to her. She was reluctant, but I at least convinced her to take a look at it. I was afraid that the table would be gone by the time we got back to it. I was very inexperienced in the ways of finding stuff on the street. In my mind, there were people always driving around neighborhoods on trash day on the hunt for this kind of stuff! Luckily it was there. She was still very unsure about this whole deal. She asked why someone would throw something out like this, she asked why it was still here? I could tell she was having a small internal battle between the ick of someone else’s used things, and the appeal of a free coffee table.
I convinced her to “give it a try”, I told her “We’ll take it to the apartment, clean it up a bit, and see how you feel about it after a few days”. She accepted that. So here we are, at 12 midnight carrying an admittedly slightly tacky coffee table through a very posh neighborhood to our apartment hoping that no spiders had claimed it as their home and if they did, that they’d crawl out from my side and not hers.
Back at the apartment she brought out the big guns. The Windex. She sprayed and wiped, and sprayed and wiped every single inch of the table. It was sweet watching how meticulously she cleaned the table. In the end we had a very clean coffee table, though no couch to sit on and enjoy it. Buying a couch is a whole other story.