THE COUCH IS GONE. Apparently, these bites covering my body are bedbugs after all, but I didn't realize they were in my couch and not my mattress until I noticed them streaming out of my cushions towards my half-naked body while watching Raging Bull the other night. Meanwhile, I ruined my mattress last month scrubbing it down with bleach-flavored Lysol, and no matter how many incense sticks I slide under my bedcase, it still has that faint foot smell, and is probably going to have to see the dumpster like about a third of my possessions have in the last month. I'm basically paying to squat in my own home.

The two guys remodeling Janet's old apartment helped me get the couch out of my place the same way it got in: over my balcony. Thank God all 218 of the Vinyl Junkies were living at my place that week in 2005 when I copped it, because I would never have gotten it over the balcony alone, and it sure wasn't going through the front door. It had a bunch of musty rappers camped out on it within ten seconds of landing in the mayoral compound, and it stayed that way pretty much right up until its unceremonious exit.

Between girlfriends, houseguests, extremely long-term houseguests and small invertebrates, there are an awful lot of individuals, living and dead, who know that couch intimately. Some of them, I wined and dined onto it, and hoped they'd never leave. Some, I welcomed into my home until they were financially ready to venture into the world. Others, I squeezed to death between my fingers until they exploded and left a piney smell. It loved all its occupants, and they loved it right back, no matter what they might tell you. If it really loved you, it left feathers in your hair.

Actually, I had to ask a couple I met at the market last week to wake up and get off the couch just before I threw it out. It was a comfy ass couch, man. It's the kind of couch you dedicate sonnets to. And I did, actually. check it out.

Anyway, it's sitting by the dumpster looking like Saddam's statue after the Iraqis knocked it over. My living room looks like a yoga studio. Anyone got a spare couch?

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