“Before You Visit Your Local IKEA Storefront,” by Logan Merriweather

Jul 16th, 2014 | By | Category: Nonfiction, Prose

Congratulations! If you’re considering your first trip to your nearest IKEA storefront, you have reached that special place in your life where you want furniture, but can’t afford any. That’s where we come in. Here at IKEA, we know we’re a much needed bridge between adolescence and adulthood. That transition can be tough. With that in mind, here are five simple tips for making your trip to IKEA a big success!

1. If your child is screaming, it is impolite to acknowledge it. Keep looking at cabinetry and rugs with fun prints. Everyone around you will be drawn to the guttural sounds issuing from your child’s lungs and be impressed with his cardio and the rock and roll band t-shirt you are wearing.

2. You will feel ownership of the mock kitchen you stand in. This could be your kitchen. You will cook a dead thing into flavors here while a woman makes you a drink in a frozen glass. This wood floor is a color that you never expected to love. Another man in jeans that have a print on the butt comes in. His woman has a perm and forearms that upset you. They are in your kitchen. The woman does not know how to serve drinks in a cold glass. They leave and you imagine where you might put your basil plant.

3. Tea lights cost four cents each. A tea light is a tiny candle in a thin metal sheath. You will touch a tea light. The metal will yield under your hand. No one cares that you have ruined this thing. Everyone here longs only for a mirror in a fun shape or death.

4. The temperature in IKEA is very pleasant. There is no reason to leave the showroom and reenter society. Stay here. Among the lamps. Among the lamp forest that overlooks the clock vista. Roam the carpeted plains and hunt the trundling couch herds. What did you catch? A Ryjvkia? Did I just make up that word? Is it a couch model? Shh. Wait. You’re in the warehouse portion. Here you must find the things you want to purchase. Everything is brown cardboard and impersonal concrete. There is no more climate control. Everyone must use the computer to find their item. You are sweating. Your legs are sweating. That man is sweating. His cart is blocking your mirror. Anarchy reigns. Kill him with a rock. Take that yellow clock and stand in a line. It is hot. You sweat like a man accused of things in a desert. You remember the lamp forest and yearn for lingonberry drink and the smile you shared with your woman over cute pull shades.

5. IKEA will have one item that is perfect for your home. You will see it on the display floor and remember a talk you heard from a science person on NPR once. The talk was about string theory. You didn’t understand and it made you mad at your Starbucks drink. Now you understand. This object and all your desires vibrate at the same frequency. This object is you. You are this object. You are a universe unto yourselves. They are out of stock. You will never have this object. This is life. This is truth. The universe is a lie. A child feels your sadness in the distant bowels of IKEA. He begins crying.
Defenestration-SpacemanLogan Merriweather is a writer and comic from Houston, Texas. His work has previously been featured in Defenestration  and Wicked Words Quarterly. He just ate what is basically an unacceptable amount of tuna salad on a couch purchased from IKEA. You can follow him on twitter @ltmerriweather.

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