Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #527

Katharine: “Mirror, mirror, not on the wall, will I get the part in that movie with the hottie named Spencer?”

Big Mirror: “Why, certainly. You have impeccable credentials, your acting is superb, and both you and the Spencer hottie need to quell certain rumors about your fluid sexual preferences.”

Katharine: “I could have done without the last part. My agent already hounds me about that mess and it’s such a bore.”

Big Mirror: “My apologies. I was so stunned by the beauty of your coiffure that I slightly lost my mind. If you feel the need to spray me with Windex, please do.”

Katharine: “Well, perhaps I shan’t go that far, but the option remains on the table.”

Little Mirror, tired of being upstaged: “Could I perhaps interject?”

Big Mirror: “Of course not. I’ve got seniority over little upstarts like you.”

Katharine: “Now, Biggles, let’s not be rude. This is still a democracy, last time I checked. Go ahead, Tiny Glancer.”

Little Mirror: “Big Mirror is a total liar who hides the truth from you so you won’t find something on eBay to replace him.”

Big Mirror: “This is an outrage! Little Mirror clearly works for the fake-news media!”

Katharine: “Let’s dial it down, Big Mirror. I still have the Windex handy. On the other hand, Little Mirror, you do understand that you can’t say things that aren’t true, right? Unlike certain presidents who rant away on Twitter without a shred of evidence.”

Little Mirror: “Oh, I have proof, unlike Fox News. Remember when Big Mirror told you that this vanity was the cutest thing he’d ever seen?”

Katharine: “He says that every day as I brush my hair in a unisex way.”

Big Mirror: “You’re such a lovely poet, Kate!”

Little Mirror: “There he goes again. It’s all a bunch of smoke-up-the-ass rubbish.”

Katharine: “I’m not sure I follow. I wouldn’t mind being known as a poet. After all, I was born in Connecticut, where we all think quite highly of ourselves. Something in the water. And the bank accounts.”

Little Mirror: “Girl, take a closer look at that vanity. The lamps alone are wretched, with ugly figurines holding up sparkly Devo hats that will only be popular in 1981 and then never again. And those plaid supporting pillars? They look like there was a tragic accident involving somebody’s worn-out sofa on a farm in Kentucky.”

Katharine: “Now that you mention it…”

Big Mirror: “Don’t listen to that little socialist!”

Katharine: “Hold up, Big Daddy. Now you’ve pushed a button. Do you not understand that this country has essentially been socialist since the first public-works tax was levied?”

Big Mirror: “Levied? Is that where Don McLean drove his Chevy?”

Little Mirror: “I weep at the ignorance.”

Katharine’s Publicist, speaking off-camera: “Kate, aren’t you getting a little too political for your fans?”

Katharine: “And when have I ever worried about that? Now, run get me some information about how to work this eBay thing. I believe I need a new vanity. And possibly a mirror.”


Previously published, minutely modified. For the record, the “the tragic accident in Kentucky” couch is very similar to one my granny had stored in a back room of her house for decades. I never questioned the existence of such, as it was just always there from my first days of cognizance. But I did hear, during the years of my youth, whispered rumors from various relations that someone had actually died on that couch, and this was the reason why she never got rid of the damn thing.

Creepy, eh?

But when I first left the family fold and moved out on my own, this sordid tale did not stop me from graciously accepting Granny’s proffering of the couch to furnish my sparse new digs. At the time, my earthly possessions consisted of a few clever outfits, a back-killing futon to sleep on, some hand-me-down and mildly-rusted cookware, and a 12-inch dance mix of Berlin’s “No More Words”. End of inventory.

Once the death couch was ensconced in my tiny apartment, I discovered, much to my surprise, that it had a fold-out bed, further increasing the plausibility of possible death that may or may not have occurred and increasing the creepiness factor. Suffice it to say that I never used that couch as an actual bed. And I never sat on it past midnight.

Still, it was my first couch and we all have to start somewhere, right?




19 replies »

  1. After reading about the death couch, I *still* think the vanity is scarier.
    The thing about fold old couches… as a teen, I had a fold out couch as my bed. I wanted my room to be life my own apartment or some such teen nonsense. Many a night I just slept on the couch because my altered brain cells couldn’t work the contraption.

    The only thing that died there was my … ummm… innocence 😉

    Liked by 5 people

    • Aww, that’s a cute image of young you having your own apartment in your bedroom. I can certainly understand, as I rarely left my own room after a certain age, as I didn’t particularly care for anyone else in the house, most of the time. And I was out of there, for the most part, by age 16, only visiting my original “fortress of solitude” every now and then, for a seasonal change of clothing and whatnot…

      But for the record, MY innocence also died at home. Just not in my bedroom… 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  2. There’s Katherine with that perfect bone structure again–she’s becoming quite the favourite! Personally, I’ve always been afraid of pull-out couches, or more specifically having one fold up with me in it!

    Liked by 3 people

    • First, the Original Death-Couch was sturdy as hell, so once that behemoth was unfolded, it would take an army platoon to fold it back up. So, physically, you were safe. But vengeful-spirt wise? No promises…

      Second, we still have a fold-out couch here at Bonnywood. I’ve never personally slumbered on it, but there have been many Bonnywood shindigs where it has provided solace to folks who shouldn’t be driving…

      Liked by 2 people

  3. A worn-out couch from Kentucky? Now I am hooked. I don’t want to be nosy but is it a Stephen King style story or a Mark Twain style? When I was young, our local TV station was a little starved for funding. It couldn’t have any contemporary American shows, but somehow we have American black and white movies on each week. I forget most of them, but I remember the movie based on Mark Twain’s “The Million Pound Note” with Gregory Pike as a poor sailor, who received a million pound note (as a joke between two rich bankers). I imagined the Kentucky couch story, if being a Mark Twain thing, is something like this: A relative of your grandma found a big note of bond certificate tucked in between the cushions, which couldn’t be found for more than fifty years. He laughed so hard that he died.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh, I like it when you get creative and whimsical like this. For this piece, I made up the Kentucky reference, but there really was an old couch that Granny gave to me, old enough that there must have been all kinds of stories buried in its musty cushions.

      In fact, that would make a great book: Interwoven stories about the various people who have sat on a certain couch over the decades. Of course, someone may have already written a story along those lines, but if they haven’t, someone should…

      Liked by 2 people

  4. My sympathies on your death couch, although you must admit that it was useful in many, many ways; not the least of which was being the seeds for future Crusty Pies and Past Imperfectics. My first ‘real’ apartment came partially furnished, but the landlord tried to steal part of my bed for another tenant as he got the frames mixed up or some such malarkey. I lived in three rooms, box-car style; with my chihuahua Beni and several cockroaches. I learnt to be a really excellent housekeeper there, as finding one of those horrifying things scurrying across the floor still tends to give me an anxiety attack. Ugh. I know that in an earlier incarnation of this excellent tale, I remarked upon Katharine and her f-ugly vanity, so I’ll spare you further rambling..

    Liked by 4 people

    • I re-read and found that it might be surmised that I have cockroaches NOW. No. This house was built FOR me, and no horrid and unwelcome ‘wild life’ have broached my shining citadel. Ziggy is on guard, as well as the maid who comes to clean twice a month.

      Liked by 2 people

    • This triggers me back to an apartment I once had in a 1917 building, a four-plex originally built during the initial Tulsa oil boom. (There’s a story somewhere in the archives with more detail.) We had the cockroaches, check, but the “furnished” angle took a different turn. The apartments were technically “unfurnished”, but the huge attic of this building was filled with furniture that the landlord had acquired over decades, many of them antiques. We were allowed to “borrow” whatever we wanted from up there, with the caveat that we return them, should we move out. Suffice it to say that I plundered that stash quite often.

      When I finally DID move, the landlord let me have a few things because I had been a good tenant, and I ended up with some vintage, New Orleans-style wicker chairs and tables. )They stayed with me for several years until my mother decided she must have them, then she eventually gave them to someone else.) Moral of the story? Always be nice to people, because you might get some antiques out of it… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thats a vanity ripe for the bonfire, Butt ugly. On to the postscript, may I offer an alternative POV?
    Don’t Knock Old Furniture.
    So someone said someone lay down and wound up dead?
    So then a certain someone found the sofa tumbles into a bed?
    Suppose, though, the rumours of one taking one’s last breath
    Had more to do with someones life affirming ‘little death?’

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you for providing an alternative option when it comes to what transpired on the Death Couch. Very clever and poetic and refreshing.

      But I can assure you that if me Granny had the slightest inclination that someone’s eyes had rolled back in his or her head on that couch, she would have hurled the couch into the pits of Hell. Because she didn’t approve of them. Orgasms, that is, not couches… 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Tiny Glancer? I love it! ❤️ As for death couches, I thought every family had one of these, or a story about one, at least. As I’m a Frenchie, I grew up with lots of stories from la mémé (granny) – she was a
    raconteur (storyteller) of the first order. Devils figured prominently in her contes (stories) so I knew exactly what to do: get on my knees and say lots of Hail Marys. (I remember all this in French so it’s strongly in my description. 🙂 )

    In her hands, your couch would have been inhabited by a devil trying to pass himself off as the dearly departed couch habitant. She would have taken an entire afternoon to tell the story, with unruly children (natch), bad husbands and cheating priests encountering a terrifying couch apparition, horns and all. Then there would be the solution: candles, lots of Hail Marys and wine. Apparently the devil hates wine and runs away from it. 😉

    Liked by 4 people

    • And with these two delightful but terrifying paragraphs, you have just completely altered my perception of the Death Couch.

      Up until now, I had just considered said couch to be an innocent apparatus that smelled of dust and old rumors. Now I realize that my very soul may have been in jeopardy from simply being near it as a child, never mind actually dragging it into my own domicile and inviting guests to sit on it. How can I live with the notion that I may have risked the salvation of folks who simply stopped by for afternoon tea? Tonight’s sleep will be troubled.

      On the flip side, it’s encouraging to know that the devil hates wine, as we always have some of that around here. Maybe it will all balance out in the end… 😉

      Liked by 2 people

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