I asked the neighbour if he wanted to swap sofas. We'd been trying for a hundred tubby minutes to pummel mine up the stairs and round the corner and my lips were full of sand and I was wheezing out of my ears and my friend was sat murmuring things about folly. Stallone was at the door, clamouring for the film rights and saying there is a problem with the dimensions and not doing a single thing to help. In the morning the man I bought the sofa from'd said he could tell me its measurements and I said nah you're alright, indoor furniture goes indoors doesn't it, and indoors is where I'm taking it, I know perfectly well what I'm doing without the need to show off any instinct for precision I might have. And I drove round town loading the van with matter, and to get rid of the unwanted bits we stopped at the tip, or tried to, only the tip-staff blustered fluorescently out of their hutch to explain that the van was too tall to make it under the barrier, and this didn't register as an omen. They let us put the matter round the side, "neatly, so The Machine can get it later", and explicitly forbade us from returning in that vehicle, on that day or any other, and maybe there was an index finger pointed once at each of our foreheads while this was being said, which made it extra memorable when we'd finally given up trying to hog-shunt the sofa into place, and were wondering what the next steps might be, before the swap was mentioned and agreed to and we kicked the neighbour's couch, the plain Ikea kind and the cat's added some detail, like a square balloon up the stairs and round the corner.