March 1, 2012 § Leave a comment
It stood out like a sore thumb amidst the sea of drab furniture. Its large, colorful blooms made its small frame seem much larger next to the over-stuffed and typical beige sofa. Upon inspection of its upholstery, we realized it had wheels. As we pulled out the unexpected sleeper I realized it was a keeper. I took the tag to the checkout counter, but while I continued to browse an odd assortment of retro lamps and gaudy sweaters I kept my eye on that couch. Fearful that someone would come in, spy my treasure, and try to run (or roll rather) away with it, I did not wander much farther away than the rack of fur coats.
The burly, Native American with shoulder-length pigtails helped wheel my new couch out into the chilly rain; my heart doing leaps and bounds with excitement. It wasn’t until we drove away from my favorite thrift store that I wondered where this 1960’s, floral printed, sleeper sofa would go. When you are 28, divorced, and living out of 1 suitcase, 2 baskets, and 5 paper bags in your parents’ spare room, a small couch is the last thing you need.
Maybe most people would find it absurd to consider all of the things I have in the past few months, but I like to think that I am open-minded (or maybe I have a fear of commitment and cannot make choices any better than a 2 year old, but that’s a topic for another day). I am not ashamed to say that every four days I come up with a new plan. Some days it is a city high-rise I am after, the temporary idea of living for the 3rd time in my favorite city, the smell of the train, and the lack of grass which makes me think I will need a little couch to curl up on after a long day of enjoying people and traffic and noise. Four days later and I am dreaming of that same little couch tucked away in the corner of a cozy cabin in the middle of nowhere; me too busy to sit on it because I am tending to my goats and chickens and a small crew of cats. The severity of the extreme difference that lies between my dreams is what causes people to think I am leaning away from sanity. But let’s, for a minute, believe that it is possible for me to have many different dreams that don’t necessarily line up in one straight path. Let us, for this minute, deem that it is totally normal to like two extremes, and for this minute I am not crazy.
The retro sleeper-sofa is in great condition. The fabric is clean and showing no rips, yet I know that if this sofa could tell stories it would fill a thick book. It is at least as old as me (although I am expecting it to be nearly the same age as my mother) so I am sure it has seen many living room designs (and most likely a few basements), and I am slightly wishing that I could ask this couch for its opinion on where it would like to settle next. Would my new little sofa love the country or the city? (“She wants to ask her sofa?!” you say? I know, my sane minute is up.) But I don’t need you to tell me that this sofa is not what I should be asking for direction. Just this morning, as I stepped out of the shower and blow-dried my hair, my mind somehow was thinking about couches. I thought about all of the lovely ones I had seen the day before, I thought about the comfortable ones I have owned in the past, and I thought about how I would really like one with a pull-out bed. Now as the day comes to an end and I pull on my pajamas and brush my teeth, I cannot help but see that lovely “coincidence” of my little sofa-sleeper dream fulfilled. And if sofa dreams come true, I am sure other ones do to. It is only a matter of time to discover whether it will be the high-rise kind or an off-the-grid dream, and until then, my sofa will just have to be content on my parents’ porch.