Jane* and I found Jesus at the First United Methodist Church on Hinman in Evanston.
We had recently moved into our tiny, ridiculously overpriced apartment and found ourselves with nothing to sit on but two folding chairs and two wooden chairs for several weeks. We needed a couch, but we needed a cheap, small couch. And we needed it fast.
The FUMC was having its yearly enormous yard sale one weekend, and we decided to head over and see if we could find anything that would work. After poring through rooms and rooms of old people’s discarded crap, we arrived at the furniture room in the basement.
Most of the couches were unsuitable for various reasons, and way too expensive to boot. Why would we spend $200 on a shitty used couch? We could almost get a shitty new couch for the same price. We were nearly ready to give up when we saw it, tucked away in a corner.
It was appropriately small. It was kind of tan. Aside from a small rip in the arm, it had no noticeable flaws. It was well-used, with worn-down arms and flat cushions, but it was small. And it was $35.
We dragged it to the front of the room and paid for it, and Jane went to get her car. At some point during the whole adventure, we decided it would be fun and a good idea to name the couch Jesus.
There was the whole thing about finding Jesus at church, made weirder by the fact that Jane and I couldn’t remember the last time either of us had set foot in a church for any reason. And then, Jesus was our salvation from the pain and suffering of the physical world.
That is, he would be, if we could get him back to the apartment.
Jane drove a 2-door Ford Escort hatchback. There was no way we were fitting a couch into it with room for a driver, much less a passenger. We’d be lucky to get the cushions in there.
Except, magically, we did in fact fit Jesus into the Ford Escort. Clearly, it was destiny.
With a high thread count king-sized ivory flat sheet found on clearance at Target, two throw pillows, and an afghan, our little couch was positively inviting. And it fit perfectly in its tiny bit of space.
Jesus was seriously small – quite possibly the smallest couch we’d ever encountered. It worked for us, because we are short, and our apartment was tiny, but still, at 5’4″, my legs hung well off the edge when I reclined on it. Jane, at five feet even, found Jesus to be a perfect fit. Our normal-sized friends made endless fun of our tiny couch, and our low-hanging pictures, and various other small things in our tiny midget apartment, but once they sat down, they could not deny the surprising comfort Jesus provided them.
Despite many jokes about hooking up on Jesus, to my knowledge it never happened. But Jesus was there through Jane’s endless hours of watching reruns of The Nanny, and Jesus was there when she broke her foot and had trouble getting into her bed, and Jesus was there when I had my wisdom teeth removed and was too loopy to make it to the bedroom, and Jesus was there when I had a bad breakup and spent days in the darkened living room acting like a blithering melodramatic idiot, and Jesus was there when I moved out at the end of the year.
Jesus might still be there. I’ll never know.
*not actually her name