How Many Male Models Does It Take to Move One Chair?

I always told myself the beauty of having so many guy friends was that it would make moving apartments really easy. It was something I didn’t really have to think about, though. I’d been in the same apartment with my friend, Jasmine, since we moved to New York City four years ago. Back then, our dads did all of the heavy lifting.

Times have changed, though. After our fair share of bad Tinder dates, Jasmine snagged a man who works in finance and has a job in downtown Brooklyn. She’s going to be living her best rent-free life by moving into his apartment which he apparently has owned for some time. As for me? I’ll be planting roots in my very own one-bedroom in Harlem.

When we told our landlord that we wouldn’t be renewing our lease, he actually seemed upset about it.

“But you’re good tenants,” he hollered with a smile. “Your rent was almost never late “Why are you leaving me?”

I was sad to say goodbye to the apartment. It was the place I’d come to call my home. It’s where I said “I love you” to someone for the first time. It’s where Jasmine and I had our first big argument and where we eventually made up. Yeah, a lot of shit went down in Unit 4A.

The morning I was to move out, I was surprised to get a visit from the landlord. He wanted to know if I needed any help. Before I could answer, he told me I would never find another landlord like him. Years later after I’d move back home to be close to family, I would think back on his comment and realize how true it was. 

“Honestly! I’m good,” I said. My phone buzzed with a text message. My guy friends were downstairs. “Actually, the movers are downstairs and they’re double parked so we’re gonna have to be quick.”

Jasmine had already moved out but the apartment still had its fair of furniture. A couch, some chairs, a couple side tables, and my bedroom set. But I thought that having three guys come help would speed up the process. They’d be the manual labor and I’d be the site manager.

An hour into moving and I came to the painful realization that my guy friends weren’t the moving kind. They wanted to seem tough because they skateboarded and knew a guy who wasn’t a dealer but took their money when they hit him up for drugs. They were waifs with scattered brains. Male models.

It became clear to me that I’d made a grave error when one of them actually asked another to take his picture while posing on a red chair.

“You do realize we’re double parked, right?”

They laughed as if I were making a joke. They said everybody double parked in New York City. And off they went to continue their impromptu photoshoot. Now I understand where U-Haul got its name: I found myself constantly shouting at them “You? Haul.”

Models Sol Goss, Michael Lockley, Dimytri Lebedyev and Rory Cooper for Models.com’s “The New School” editorial photographed by Paul Morel

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Fictitious Fashion is a flash fiction series that finds inspiration from imagery found in fashion magazines and brand campaigns.

Calvin is a Brooklyn-based content strategist currently working on a manuscript. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram (@mrcalvinwalker).

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