This is my couch, or a close approximation anyway of how it looked when we purchased it. It does not look like that anymore. It has taken a beating. It has been eroded by time. I think it may have a case of Hank-induced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It has become resigned to its existence, but I detect some bitterness. Of course, that may just be from the coffee that Hank poured on it last week.
Recently, I can really identify with that couch.
The couch is rarely fully put together. The cushions are removed and slung about, leaving its guts bare to be bounced upon by ungentle feet. It has springs popping out, coiled and ready to snag unsuspecting victims. It is covered with stains, some visible, others hidden and ingrained.
You see, one of Hank’s favorite activities is to dump all manner of everything onto that couch. To date, the list of abusive substances includes water, tea, sodas, coffee, five different colors of paint, toothpaste, chicken soup, diaper cream, lotion, whatever is inside a snow globe, rice, noodles and other unmentionables. I can clean the outside. The cushion covers have been stripped and washed so many times that one is ripped at the seams and no longer zips. But the inside, I’m pretty sure that it is permanently scarred.
I am that couch.
Many nights when Hank falls asleep, oftentimes on that couch, I study him. His face in perfect repose. The even rise and fall of his chest. His eyelashes casting spiky shadows. And the feelings overwhelm me. The love, the sadness, the wonder, the determination. It makes me heavy. It makes me light.
John will carry Hank off to bed, and the couch and I will breath a sigh of relief. If it’s not too late, John and I will watch some TV, frequently cuddled together on a single couch cushion because the other is getting over its most recent trauma.