a sofa

so, a sofa indeed.
a mere happenstance, whereby coincidence, fluke and chance arrived sequentially. luck as it came around played the role of serendipity, or as they say: who'd have thunken. 
alka selzer is a remedy of absolute necessity after a heavy meal, even a lowly midnight butter sandwich. and so again on sunday, it relieved six slices of sumptuous bacon, the rasher done to be crunchy, yet fatty and moist; sequentially devoured as in a streak from one to six. the results maximized, and i repeated in a sad voice, like the commercial of yore: i ate the whole thing, yes, i ate the whole thing. carbonation brought relieve. alas, this seltzer was the last from a once full box. to be prepared for a next occasion, which would occur and likely soon enough, i drove down the road heading for the drugstore. by coincidence i passed heart-shaped balloons on the way with a glittering sign for an estate sale. further on more balloons, and then a request: turn around - you missed the sale. i payed no mind. in this part of town yard sales are a sunday's obligatory. on my return, still more balloons advertising this sale, but this time i turned by chance, what ever for, likely not to be remiss, and soon found the estate, a small house, a few cars parked the length of a short driveway. the lady of the house sat at her kitchen counter, looking spent, but counting money. her estate was decidedly bare, scant items still for sale. should have come earlier, she said. it was as it was, late afternoon, bargains were gone, a small pretty sofa remained alone. it was covered in raspberry plush asking for a hundred dollars. it gave a sigh as i sat, as though it too had had a long day. careful, the woman fussed, it's broken, my brother lazed his three hundred pounds into it and cracked the frame.
hm, i said, getting up gingerly, wanting no further damage to make. she offered a fuzzy oversized recliner. it too had faults. someone had turned its handle beyond leisure and there it was, stretched to the max and no return. reminded me of a doll, whose arm rotated, each forward turn increasing her breast. as in the recliner, the arm had swiveled beyond pivots and barbie for ever abounded jane mansfield.
i left, but the image of the sofa remained with me all the way home. how well it would fit into our chimney room. might it be fixed? it had looked so innocent, barely groaned as i sat, and surely a broken frame could be rebuild. in the night, at the edge of my sleep, i considered various mends and repairs, though i hardly knew of the damage. monday mid-day i turned back into the driveway. the front door was closed, but a bell soon brought the woman downstairs.
she didn't wear much of a top, a mere whitish halter aside. she waved me in, as i pointed to the sofa, a hundred dollars in my other hand. oh, she said, we're going to keep it. my husband, he is a dentist, he thinks he can brace it. it's true, we're moving to a much smaller place, but look, it would fit so nicely right there by the entry. bending far over, she pointed to a low side table and a spot on her spread-out floor plan. leering, felt myself blush, got confused and stammered, but i have a hundred dollars right here. she looked at my money and then at my face. now she deeply inhaled, expanding. and she refused my offer, tossing her curls, clearly determinedit will fit so nicely there in the alcove, and my husband, he surely can fix it.
well, call me i said, if you change your mind, in a day or so, or if your husband can't fix it. 
she called, a day later. we're going to keep it, she said. he'll be fixing it with a steel brace.
a steel brace? on a sweet little sofa with a wooden frame? i gasped. he ought to splice it with rosewood or walnut, at least that, but please, not with steel! 
well, he is a dentist, she said, he can do anything he wants.
so i waited a couple of days. then i called her back. you know, i said, i'm a husband and when my wife wants something fixed i tell her, i'll do it right a way. of course i'm not a dentist, but i'm busy too. i've got other things on my mind, so i'll soon forget what she wants done. in time, she'll forget about it too. so no one remembers and life goes on. but all that aside, i'd like to offer you a bribe. i'll pay you two hundred dollars for that broken thing. this way you won't have to nag your husband and you don't have to move yet another piece of broken furniture. you can buy yourself a nice frock for the dough. he won't even have to know. so, call me back, if you change your mind and want the cash.
by wednesday she phoned. you still offer two hundred dollars, right? and you can pick it up right away?
so i went and brought my little sofa home. a brace of walnut fit nicely across the crack. hide glue and some fat brass screws got the job done by week's end. i reposed in it, a dram of malt in one hand, a pale churchill in the other.
next day my cat took possession.