I remember sitting curled up on a brown leather sofa by a big, stone fireplace; the leather was so worn and crinkled from the warmth, that it had turned soft and slightly speckled. I couldn’t stop running my fingers over it; fascinated by its age, and slowly pulling at the pieces of stuffing that kept poking through the frayed, beige lining. I would try to figure out what it was, then immediately feel guilty and poke the bits back in, wondering if anyone had seen me.
Silly really, because I was the only one in the room, and I don’t think I was the first one to amuse themselves by playing with their sofa. The owner had thrown a mess of blankets into a metal box next to the fireplace, so I absently wondered if they would catch, but cared more that the metal was keeping them nice and warm. The wooden coffee table was covered in rings from cups, and slowly sipped glasses of who knows what.
As it got late, the landlord walked by, said hello then came back with a glass of brandy and a few pieces of broken chocolate on a saucer. I remember thinking that he must have felt sorry for me, and had visions of him rummaging around the kitchen for something sweet and comforting.
I don’t usually drink brandy, but I took it anyway, and sipped it with the pieces of chocolate; it felt so right, as if I had been transported to some old castle, and was patiently waiting for someone to come home. I had paid for a room, but I asked if I could sleep in front of the fire instead. I can’t even remember why, but they just shrugged and said okay.
Since then, I have sat on several leather sofas, and I always compare them (very unfairly) to the memory of that one night. My favorites are always the ones that don’t make me feel like I am going to slide off at a moment’s notice, that don’t attach themselves to the back of my legs when I’m not looking, and the ones that don’t make an awful noise when I try to peel myself off in a very unladylike way. And, I don’t like them to be cold.
So, even with a glass of brandy, I find that most leather sofa’s are not that comfortable, but some are definitely worth sleeping on.
Delightful photograph from: http://www.harvestmoon.co.uk/artistic-upholstery-bespoke-furniture.html
For more by Wendy and the Blue Giraffe, go to: http://www.thebluegiraffe.com/