Thursday, October 25, 2007

Goodbye Old Friend...

As anyone and everyone I know will surely tell you, I’m an overly nostalgic guy and tend to attach personal significance to even the most inanimate objects. I cried when my Mom got a new car when I was 5, complained when they redid my play space when I was seven and made a short film when we moved houses when I was 14 (seriously). But, I place no greater significance on any piece of furniture I’ve owned, slept on or spilled on than the “hippie chic” couch which has sat in my living room for the past 26 years.

According to popular legend…a.k.a. my Mom and Dad…when my parents lived in the West Village in the late 1970s (you know, when they still had to walk 8 miles up three hills and fight off Indians to get to school) their apartment was so small that their loveseat filled up the entire living room and it wasn’t until they moved into a slightly larger (and more Indian proof) apartment in the even later 1970s that they could afford, let alone fit, a full couch. A few months after I was conceived (perhaps on that couch?) they moved to the country, or at least scenic Armonk, NY, and brought with them the loveseat, its matching couch and a pretty hefty vinyl collection as the main relics of their post-hippie squalor.

I think my first tangible memories are of that couch… my Dad sitting on it Saturday mornings…my mom cleaning cat hair off it so my allergic Dad could sit on it Saturday morning (true love or the original neurotic Jew?)…my uncle sleeping on it for somewhere between 6 weeks and 2 years depending on who you ask Overtime that couch absorbed many memories, some fuzzy, some carbonated, from my parent’s friend Judy smoking some strange cigarette to the Transformer party I had when I was 7 to the sleepovers that dominated my family room throughout my adolescence (shoosh, don’t wake my parents). Over the years I’d say a good 17% of my high school graduating glass spent at least one night on that couch and the rapidly rising number of Chiropractors in my old neighborhood is tangible proof just for comfortable it truly is. Though most of my friends are still figuring out how to make their way in the world, I’m proud to say that my couch has already hosted some pretty important people: Andy (who sadly now works for G.W. Bush), soon to be billionaire investor/poker player Jon (who to this day swears he developed allergies when he lost a coin toss and had to sleep on the floor one night in 8th grade) and many more of you out there than I’d like to believe from those early college parties (let me hear tip my hat to Hayley, Pete, Jen, Eric, Ken, Neil, Adam, Buddy, Lucy, Amanda, Caitey, Jay, Ned, Jermanie, Anna, Nick, Iz, Corey, Bill and the many other Skidmorians whose backs will never be the same after a right on that big, uncomfortable blob of memories).

I moved into Manhattan in 2004 and, oddly enough, found myself living just a few blocks from where my parent’s first gave birth to that big, old, dirty couch and have lived here every since. I brought along both the couch and the love seat, though sadly not the vinyl, and, for the better part of the past three years, my roommate Juan has used it as his de facto bed (even though he has both a room in my apartment and another crash pad in Brooklyn). As I grew with New York it was where Benjy and I recorded many early episodes of Cold Turkey, where I wrote many articles for Relix and, where my brother established his first home in NYC and where I first encountered many of the people who heave since earned their own esteemed blog entries over the past two years (you know who you are...). I once joked that I hoped to seed the next generation of Greenhauses on the very same couch that brought me into this world, but my Mom, always the voice of reason, simply said, “honey, have you sat on that couch recently? I don’t think so.” I’d like to be buried in that couch, or at least give it a 30th birthday party, but sadly, today, I will lay my old stead to rest. His wheels have gotten too rusty, his legs too weak and his cloth too frayed to host a neurotic blogger, let alone a multi-keg party, and tonight he will retire to that great living room in the sky (or at least behind my apartment building).

I’m sad that I never gave him a name since I’ve known him for so long, so I am going to follow the Jewish tradition and name him after the first friend I lost along the way, my cat Wimpy.

I managed to salvage some of his pillows and am trying to figure out something heady to do with them after I get back from Vegoose. But, until then, I’d like to toast my old stead Wimpy, who stayed with me through the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, the sober and the intoxicated and will surely be immortalized with one foot in the air like any solider who dies in battle.

Rest in Peace,

Mikey Greenhaus

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