We drove off and headed for Macy's, where we were redirected to their clearance furniture store about ten minutes away.
Once we arrived, a salesperson showed us the single sofa bed they had for sale. The color options were beige or terracotta. I tried to be positive about it.
"It's nice," I said to Larry, trying to envision it in our living room.
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"Is this your clearance center?" Larry asked, looking around.
"No, this is the showroom," she said, pointing us in the direction of the clearance center, then thrusting a card at Larry. "Here's my card - I work on commission."
At the entrance to the clearance center, Larry stopped to look at a massive rug atop an equally massive pile. It was $23,000 dollars. God only knows what the original price was.
As we walked further inside the clearance center, I began to worry. Gone was the pretty staging of the showroom, with the flattering incandescent lighting and well-placed accessories.
This was where floor models go to die.
Random pieces of dining room furniture were lined up in rows, stacked up in corners, some wrapped with plastic, proudly displaying SOLD tags. Many of them where chipped, scratched or missing parts. I guess if you need prop furniture to blow up, you could come here.
Just beyond this, was a single, massive room with living room furniture as far as the eye could see.
Larry went off to find the bathroom, so I began to approach the tightly packed aisles of stained, faded, scratched, discolored and severely abused sofas, chairs, recliners, loveseats and sectional parts all lumped together in a jarring clusterfuck of colors reminiscent of a dropped box of crayons.
I had to see them all. I began a slow, deliberate walk through, stopping to look at each individual piece. I had to take it all in. I also figured that I should do this in case there was a bargain to be found.
But there was not. When I realized this, I played a little game where I tried to guess which sectional pieces went with which.
It was like the Area 51 of furniture - the secret back room where they hid their most heinous creations, failed experiments deemed too frightening for release into the general population.
Such as this:
Why the horrid lime green color? Why the wedge on one side? It was like they cut two sofas apart, glued them together and then covered it in a 1980s green fabric designed to distract the eye.
When Larry came out of the bathroom I told him that there was nothing to be found here. I began to panic as he approached one piece with curiosity. He ran his hand over the fabric and lifted the cushions.
"Larry...no...that's part of a sectional...It doesn't have arms!" I warned, as if he actually might buy this piece on the spot. I imagined future guests leaving our apartment, snickering and gossiping as they waited for the elevator.
"Did you see that thing in the living room? What an eyesore."
"You mean Chris?"
"No, stupid. The random sectional piece."