Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Each week the regime would send out catalogs to show us the new forms, the latest geometries. We would thrill to the harmonies of living areas configured according to scientific principles. And there they were, the perfect sofas of the future, uniformed in twill slipcovers and caressed by the manufactured sunbeams that slid like empty stockings into those ideal, depopulated rooms.

Gone were the paperbacks, game controllers, potato chips and bodily fluids, the laundry, the ashes, the sobbing spouse: the animality of the old couches had been banished along with the couches themselves. Our new sofas were sublime! Patriotic, streamlined, in mocha or moss or stone, they submitted themselves for nationwide delivery.

Of course this was after the first round of purges, when all the lumpy degenerate sofas had been flushed out of the cities and imprisoned in basements. And we'd already seen the early resistance, those ragtag Goodwill units, decimated by the counterinsurgency (with its highway checkpoints, its rec room raids, its interrogation warehouses.) Driven
underground, the rebels recovered themselves gradually. They stockpiled weapons and yard-sale tchotchkes, and infiltrated several of our largest moving companies. Furtively they grew stronger, while we were distracted by the spectacle of the housewives marching daily in front of Headquarters, holding up pictures of their missing furniture.

This is a photograph of one of the reputed rebel leaders, who during the crackdown had been taken into custody and questioned—the resulting lacerations are clearly visible here—and then mysteriously released. Surrounding the sofa are all the squalid hallmarks of a degenerate living area. The picture was posted on the internet by a group claiming to be affiliated with the insurgency. It cannot be determined whether the image is authentic or doctored. At the present time we cannot even say for certain that this sofa still exists.



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