The Epic of IKEAmesh

I took a walk today
In Little Sweden
Though little
You were not
Sure, your looming exterior
And complicated parking entrance
Should have been a warning
IKEAmesh stands above others
Literally and figuratively
I’ll just pop in
To look at dressers
Or so I thought
But “popping in” is not what one does
Within your walls

A grand, whirling entrance
Totally separated from the humble exit
(another sign, I suppose)
I was slightly confused by
The initial emptiness
“Showroom Upstairs”

Everyone ascending
And so I followed

It was all very controlled
A little obsessive-compulsively, actually
First up: Living Rooms
And many a patron relaxing already
Trying out your wares
A little longer than necessary
Perhaps they were daunted too

Where’s the bedroom stuff?
I cannot see past living room
Upon living room
Upon living room
Surely they must have more
(an understatement, of course)
Like others (still standing)
I followed the grey winding road
And its giant guiding arrows

And so I became ensnared
In a labyrinth of home furnishings
Living Rooms
Living Room Storage
Work Spaces
Occasionally veering off the path
Looking for shortcuts
Only to hit dead ends
That felt like home

(Except not
Because my place is nowhere near
That stylish and controlled

As my journey forward
Began to weary and worry me
I contemplated
Multiple emergency exits
Unsure I had the mental stamina
For such an expedition as this
I decided to stop
To smell the roses
Or, rather, the accoutrements
In your tiny sustainable home
(One of them, anyway
There were multiple…
I think…

I emerged refreshed
Even slightly delighted
By the perfect use of space
So back on the path, traveller!
No time to dawdle
This quest must continue!
I have an appointment
(in 2.5 hours
but I saw no end to the maze
and was not sure if this would become
a Confucian journey
or was it Lao Tzu?)

Some beds!
And more!
And more…
And more
But at least the harbingers
Of dressers and chests
(I hoped)
Nightstands a taste
A whetting of the appetite
For what was to come

Bedroom Storage!
Various dressers to peruse
(but surprizingly fewer
than expected
given the dizzying scale
of what lay in my wake)
Item selected.
All details noted.
(in pen on my own paper,
not in pencil on one of their cards,
which I had decidedly ignored upon embarking
a secret act of rebellion
in this police state of style)

To the Check-outs!
(after several more departments)
Down the stairs
Momentarily tempted
By the scents of lunch
As I passed your Restaurant & Cafe
Luring visitors into its clutches
With its fine offerings
But no time for that –

Where are the checkouts?
What’s this, “Market hall”?
Is there any other path?
Well, maybe I’ll just look a little
I grabbed a yellow bag
And ventured forth
Into ANOTHER maze
Of (smaller) home decor

My choice near instantly regretted
The sparseness of the sustainable home
Would never tolerate
Nor accommodate
Such abundance
(also, <600 square feet is admirable
but where is the storage space?
or is one to become Spartan as well?
because your main floor
does not jibe with that philosophy…
unless it is a paradox:
infinite options
for simplistic living)

And on and on down the path
Yellow bag soon ditched
In one of many convenient yellow bins
(contrary to their intent, I suspect)
And so I considered
Each emergency exit I passed
Once more
But no!
Soldier on!
It can’t go on forever
Please don’t let there be
Another mandatory level…

I arrived in the Stock Home!
(stock home…
get it?
self-amusement was all I had
at that point and
there is no humour in
“Self-serve furniture area”)

I stopped to ask a man in a fluorescent vest
Where I might arrange delivery
And assembly, ideally
He appeared confused
Despite this being his realm
And not mine
He handed me a map
(and I chided myself for having missed it
when I embarked on my pilgrimage
not because it would have changed my path
but because it would have reassured me
that an end existed
and that resisting the path laid out
was futile)

“Can’t I just take this information
To the checkout?
I have all the information here.”
Jotted on my own paper
In my own pen
No longer a secret
Yet no Agents of Order descended
To correct my free thought
Perhaps this was what
Democratic socialism is like

(my emphasis, not his)
Has to fill out a paper
For you to bring
To the checkout.”

I felt faint
My despair surely visible
On my face
Is that even possible here?
Am I allowed to openly disobey
The giant arrows?
Or must I start afresh
Like Sisyphus?
He pointed to a shortcut
(of sorts)
Avoiding the first floor forest
I had just escaped

I thanked him for his kind counsel
And carried on my journey
Left at the Check-outs
(their spelling, not mine)
Back up the stairs
Arriving by the Restaurant & Cafe
As though it was bidding me to stop
For provisions before continuing
But I did not

I approached the labyrinth’s exit
Wary of openly flouting
The prescribed order of things
Arrows be damned!
Time’s a-wastin’!
I ventured forth
And worked my way back
To Bedroom Storage
Passers-by surely judging
My inability to comprehend
Directional arrows

Finally, I was in the vicinity
Looking for an employee
Are they camouflaged?
Because I swear I never passed one
The first time through
Up ahead, a man
In a stylish yellow print shirt
Straightening a bed covering
Surely his attire was too fashionable
To be a uniform
Perhaps just an OCD patron
As I approached, I spied
A square of plastic
Pinned to his chest
A name-tag, I presumed
“Do you work here?”
(tentative relief)

And so he guided me
Through the ritual
At his tiny computer kiosk
Like a temple
That had suddenly materialized
From the aesthetically-pleasing ether
I presented my crumpled paper
As an offering
And finally

Enough to proceed to the Check-outs

After I wound my way back out of
The Elevated Forest of Furnishings

Restaurant & Cafe!
A now beloved sign-post!
Whose tantalizing aromas
Were welcome
But would not delay me
As I approached the end

Oh no!
Is that my ex-boss just ahead
Limping toward your siren smells
Like a defeated ogre
Wishing to commune with humans
Or merely sit in judgment of them?
Down the stairs!
Lest she turn and become another
Herculean feat I must overcome
Where’s a sustainable hideout
When one is needed?

I flitted down the mountain
Er, stairs
And managed to escape unseen
I retraced the “shortcut”
To avoid having to endure
The Web of Wares
A second time as well
I passed checkout upon checkout
Are any non-self-checkouts open?
Does that sign include these ones?
Is that an employee or just
someone in sunny summer attire?
A light!
On the horizon
A line of other pilgrims
At journey’s end
With more to show for it
Than me
And my papers

“Just papers?” she asked
Who cares?
She scanned them
And behold, one last chance
For enlightenment this day
Another unknown revealed
“Let me try
this 6% Mastercard
I haven’t used
in ten years”
But it says 03/17?
I guess they expect you to use it
More than once
Every ten years
Oh well
Alright, my usual Mastercard then

And with that
My quest completed
Until they visit me
In my territory
On the morrow
I imagine it will be
Far less daunting
For them

I retired to my transport
And wound my way
Out of the parking lot
Foolishly following
A fellow pilgrim
Who was going the other way
But soon enough I was back
On Route 90
Heading north
To familiar surroundings

Oh, IKEAmesh!
Your wares are impressive
And extensive
(oh so extensive)
But not half as much
As your orderliness
Your entire being
A macrocosm
(is that a word?)
Of your famed
Assembly instructions

Alas, I will likely never
Become one of those
Who make –
And enjoy
The pilgrimage
Several times
Per year
My first ever trip
To the much touted holy land
Surely to be my last
But I wish you well
You noble behemoth



~ by bohemianincognito on 2016 May 5.

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