The tumbleweeds are twisting in the dead breeze across Division Street. We gaze longingly across the street at Chipotle, like a man who, wandering the desert, mistakes the heat rising from the sand for water. They call this the new normal, but not long ago folks of all kinds would walk through our door, searching, not for water or relief, but for smoking hot dealz on factory direct furniture and mattresses.
We still wonder: what was wrong with the old normal?
Now, there are no more customers here. No signs of life. No one rings our bell as they walk into our stores to check out our hot dealz on The Bliss, lounge on a Bellevue, or even hideaway under one of our storage beds to surprise us after we close.
This is to say we miss. We miss you dearly. These are the things we miss most about you:
Remember when you came to the store for the first time and saw that we had the Bliss? You were wearing those new clogs you’d fallen in love with after our trip to Holland last year. We asked you if they’d float and you sang “We’ll all float on” over and over. Then we told you about the price and you’d said you’d never heard of a better priced modular sectional. We said, “We know, that’s the point.”
We’ve never been much for reading until you came into our lives. Sure, we have a bunch of Fem Lit laying around and that one book about the talking gorilla, but it’s mostly been to keep our image up as an intellectual brand. Then you showed up, in your teal, 14th century crushed velvet get-up, talking about star-crossed lovers, asking, “Oh Wallaroo’s, Wallaroo’s, wherefore art thou Wallaroo’s?” To which we replied: “Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s deal?”
The noisy haze of Division street was often deafening. The constant traffic, the near-death experiences every time we’d try to cross the street for a quick cheeseburger at Wendy’s. We’d stare out the window at the blur of the world, wondering when it would come to an end (soon, we thought — and we were right).
Then you’d come in and ask, “I’ve been looking around for a European lounging couch, any chance you have one?”
We’d say, “Yeah, yeah we do. We’ve got the only one for miles – and it’s yours, for a great price and a smile.”
You know we jump easily since we’re so often locked away in our own heads, dreaming up the next innovation in comfort or prodding over the best way to maximize our value. You know how attentive we are when answering customer’s questions and you know you can use that to your advantage to sneak away. When we’re explaining the intricacies of how our hardwood is fired, or that our cushions are made out of the same material as high-end mattresses, we won’t notice you slip away and hide in the Natasha’s storage compartment.
When we walk by, hours later, and you pop out, we’ll jump in surprise — and delight. We missed you while you were gone. The real terror was the time we spent without you.
Sure, things got tough on the average Tuesday and Wednesday, when we’d spend much of our time alone. We might have spent hours in a hole researching the best factories world wide or ensuring the materials for our furniture were being responsibly sourced. After a while, we thought we’d never see you again, so we might make a new Tinder profile. But we’d always delete it after swiping left on everyone in a 60 mile radius, we promise.
Just when things were looking the dimmest, and we were certain we’d never see you again, the little bell above our door would ring. It’d be you, asking “Is this the best place in a 60 mile radius to score a hot deal on a mattress?”
We always loved that about you, how you’d play coy, like you didn’t know we have the hottest dealz anywhere in the country. But we know you know; it’s why you always come back.