Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Blue Couch Wake

“The moment I let go of it was the moment I got more than I could handle…” (Alanis song)
PS: I can only hope so…

OK. I admit I do have the occasional T-Shirt I used to go to bed in when I was 14 and had a crush on Al Pacino (I figured he might like it …). Yes, I still have the elephant print tank that I stole from a production line back home, when we went into a field trip to a textile plant in 4th grade; and yes, I still wear it, when I miss home. And don’t we ALL keep our college jeans that will never, ever fit us?! (I swear my bones grew!).
But to get attached and emotional about … a couch? I mean, I have been able to pack very little belongings into ONE suitcase and move across the Ocean into a different continent once. I have lived in 6 homes in less than 10 years now… I have had 4 cars so far (less than 10 years again)… I said good bye for good to people, and places that I loved and adored. I have seen the love of my life die, and still lived to tell the story… I have just left a place behind…
Every spring and every fall I get rid of maybe a quarter if not half of the contents of my closets (all of them). I have been known as a “thrower”. I believe in physical and emotional cleansing, as often and thorough as it’s necessary… I always hear my grandmothers tell me: “Honey, when we go, there is only so much you can fit between 4 boards. Learn to let go of material things”.
But this couch, somehow, is different. For some reason, something about that couch I threw out tonight just made my heart shift! It was the first couch I had in this country; the couch my then future husband first mentioned we might get married on, the couch of many naps in lazy Southern afternoons, and the couch of my cats’ first naps under my roof, too. It was the “coming of age” marker for me. It was a dark blue couch, nothing particular about it, a little bigger than a love seat, with annoying sliding pillows everywhere on it… And yet the thought of just telling it tonight “you’re dismissed”, “you’re no longer needed”, just like that, and the image of leaving it out there, in the rain, and the damp weather close to breaks my heart… I hoped someone would come and pick it up, and give it another second life, but no one came. The darkness fell on it; and then the rapacious rain. And then my heart sank… I just don’t know how to let go of the silly couch!
I guess for so many years and lonesome nights it was the anchor of my home, in the main room of my home… I just never imagined my living room without the blue couch, I guess. It’s even been replaced already, by a bigger, queen size sleeper, that’s beige-green and has no personality (yet?!). My old, torn and stained couch had memories, and life, had proof that people, and cats and kids have shared it and have loved it. Had … personality. It’s weathered the last 10 years of my life. And I know the cats are missing it, too…I feel like a traitor and a bad, bad mother…
I guess the feeling of ending, and impermanence, and disposability that even us humans, not only “things” share is just so vivid, when I see it sitting at the curb, that it makes me cry. “All good things must end”, huh?!
I am always excited about the door opening and can never see the one that just closed. But this one couch really closed that door tonight, with a bang! Or it never yet closed it fully. It still wants to peek in…
I know, I am becoming neurotic and I need to stop. But I can’t. Tonight, I’ll mourn…

1 comment:

kehaar said...

What sadness! I miss the couch too! And I don't even remember it!