I’m nine. I come home from playing dolls at Kelly Flaid’s*.
“Ma,” I say. “Kelly has carpets all in her house.”
“Tha’ right?” says Ma. “Well bully for them – get out of your good dress. I hate those people.” Ma turns back to her Louis L’Amour novel. “Its called wall to wall.”
“Can we get some of that?” I ask.
Kelly Flaid is my idol – she has voluptuous hair, mauve velvet drapes (they drape!) and a doll display case. I have early pattern male baldness, share a room with Granny and my dolls consist of Old Pete and a one -eyed melted creep my brother blew up to experiment.
That’s okay – I’m going to be like Kelly – we’re going to get wall to wall carpeting. The idea thrills me.
The next day Ma tells me she thought about it and I can go to the carpeting store and pick out something and she’ll pay for it later.
Did I mention? I’m nine.
I walk two miles, to Taschereau Boulevard and go through the samples in the carpet store. This is the seventies – they don’t question me as I swipe and squish and smell (!) the colored squares and flippy books.
After a long time I decide yellow because I like Big Bird. I get the order number from the salesman, walk home, and give the number to Ma.
A month later every square inch of floor in the house is covered in long, Big Bird yellow shag carpeting.
I loved it.
Missed you, friend, a lot more than I miss that yellow carpeting.
*names have been changed to protect the innocent.