Thursday, November 17, 2016

#FreeWriteChallenge Day 2: Letter to an Inanimate Object

Dear Couch,

I have mixed feelings about you, truth be told. We have a lot of history, you and I. As I lie reading on you this early morning before the sun was even awake, a lot of memories popped into my head. Because of this, I decided there were a few things I needed to let you know.

We first met back in January of 2012. My family and I were new to Germany, and had just moved into a rather large home. It was beautiful – lots of windows and a huge expanse of bright, white tile on the floors. It was a little uncomfortable at first, though. All our belongings were packed away in a big, blue container that was on a ship bobbing around somewhere on the vast Atlantic Ocean. The few folding chairs we’d borrowed and the hearth in the living room were the only places for us to sit, so when we met you we were all very happy indeed.

You were hanging out at the Poco. I’m sure you remember it although you haven’t been there in almost five years. It’s a wonderful store right in the heart of Kaiserslautern. It has three floors just stuffed with all sorts of things a family who has just moved into a large, empty house needs. I’d like to say it was love at first sight, but that wouldn’t be entirely accurate. There was another couch there, a leather one, that caught our eye as well. After much debate, we realized that the wonderfully wide windowsills in our new house required a couch with a shorter back. The leather one simply wouldn’t fit, so we decided to take you home.

This, I’m afraid, is where our troubles began. Perhaps this wasn’t all your fault, although you do weigh an awful lot. Even with all your parts separated, you are a mighty heavy haul. It didn’t help that we had to climb two flights of stairs—made of stone and covered in ice that time of the year—just to get to our front door. After that, there was a large, spiral staircase we had to conquer inside the house before we were able to reach the living room. I think I recall moving a couple of your rather weighty pieces around the back of the house to avoid that second set of stairs. All I remember was mud, some very thorny bushes and a gate we couldn’t open. I think I’ve blocked the rest of that adventure out of my mind. I will say that once we got you into the house and in front of the fireplace where you belonged, you looked mighty nice. And we were grateful for a place to sit down since all four of us were exhausted and a bit battered from moving you in.

The living room didn’t look quite so big once you arrived. You were accommodating, serving as not only a place to sit or lie down, but as a dinner table and a place to complete school work. Perhaps the fact that you were so useful for a considerable amount of time is why those feelings I mentioned earlier are mixed. You see, I’m an optimist. The glass is always half full. Perhaps in this case, the cushions are always half plumped. Well, maybe not. Anyway, I’m confident you see the point I’m trying to make.

Having said that, however, we need to face the harsh truth. You’re big. You’re bulky. Sometimes you’re simply in the way. How many times have we all stubbed our toes on your pointed corners? I know that my left pinkie toe will never be the same since you reached out and grabbed me that one cold November day back in 2013. I’m not as sure of the other dates in which you caused my family or me bodily injury, but you have a rap sheet at least as long as your middle fold out section filled with your misdemeanors and acts of random violence.

I thought maybe your crime spree would end once we all relocated back to the States, but you proved to be an international criminal. Not even the burly trio of professional movers escaped harm at your hands—er wood frame and upholstery. The exact nature of their injuries was never revealed, but I know I saw at least one of them limp out the door once you were safely inside, and the string of profanities that filled the house while they were moving you in makes it a certainty that you were the cause.

When we brought you up to the living room a year and a half ago, you pulled off your most heinous crime to date. While I’d had lots of issues with my wrist before you came upstairs, it was this last move that finally did it in. Just a week after the kids and I got you situated in your final spot, I began seeing an orthopedic surgeon. It was decided that wielding your heft was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Or more specifically, my wrist. It was with much bitterness that I curled up beneath a blanket on your less than comfortable surface and lay my head upon your misshapen cushions after several painful cortisone shots and two difficult surgeries. I’d come to terms with the fact that you were not the nicest piece of furniture we’d ever owned, but you’d finally gone too far.

You’ve been with us for five years, so you might be wondering why I’m writing this letter to you now. I did mention before that I was trying to get a little reading done this morning. I don’t do that very often. As a matter of fact, you may have noticed that you and I don’t spend a whole lot of time together lately. My toes are afraid of you, and quite honestly, you’re just not pleasant to lounge on. My attempt at finishing a book today just reminded me of that, and that’s why I felt the need to vent.

Truly, I hate to hurt your feelings, but it’s past time that I tell you if we hadn’t bought in you Germany, and if we could afford to buy a new couch, you’d be history. Oh, and that little incident after my last wrist surgery … you know, the one where my stomach decided it didn’t like all the meds the surgeon pumped into me? I’m not at all sorry. Consider it payback.

The person who would rather watch T.V. and read on the floor