The Old Sofa

We have all had an old ratty sofa at least once in our lives. Many of us, as exiles arriving from Cuba with nothing, had one that was either a hand me down or a Salvation Army third hand or even, as in my family’s case, a sofa picked up out of someone’s trash pile. Some of us might have had one during our college days, sitting there in our little dorm room or apartment or frat house acting as a pizza crumb and change collector. Some of us might still have one, sitting somewhere in our garage, hosting boxes of LP’s and old books. The Old Sofa.
At some point in the life of the old sofa, one thinks of it as a sort of oases, always there when things werent going so good, waiting for us patiently, offering us that cozy comfort respite from it all. You get home from a long day’s work, drop your stuff on a table, grab a bag of chips or a beer or a Materva and plop down on Mr. Olf Faithful Sofa. Right there in your favorite spot, the one you had diligently worked at carving out all these years watching tv or reading books or leafing through newspapers. That old sofa spot hugs you and suddenly, things are allright with the world.
Every old sofa has a spot that hugs somebody. And the thing with that old sofa and your little carved out niche is that you dont have to talk to it. You dont have to tell it about your rotten day, you dont have to confess to it. It doesnt want to hear it, it just wants to make you feel good. Here, have a seat and relax. Take a chill.
The old sofas may be worn out on the edges, they may have a knick here and there, maybe a burn mark or a coffee stain or two, but you overlook those little imperfections because that sofa has given years of peaceful bliss. So you throw a blanket over the back of it to hide the padding showing along the edges. And you toss a lillte towel on the armrests to hide the years of beverage holding and arm sweat stains. When the cuts and stains and imperfections are prevalent, you go and buy yourself a duvee and dress up that old sofa. Add a layer of fabric make-up to it’s aging sofa countenance.
And Mr. Old Faithful Duvee Sofa may look a little better then, but the scars remain underneath. The years of wear and tear are all still there, hiding behind the makeup in shame.
Then one day you get home looking for a little sofa respite and you plop yourself down on your duvee covered little carved out spot and find that it just aint that comfy anymore. There’s a spring poking your behind, the armrest that served as your pillow so many years is hard, the padding having worn down to the nub. The sofa is sagging a bit, giving you a hint of a backache. One of the legs is a little loose and you find yourself teetering with every little move. You try to work it out, of course, shift and shimmy yourself into finding that last spot of ease and comfort in your old sofa and when you do and let out your sigh of relief, your next inhale takes in something not so pleasant. Your old sofa smells. Stinks something aweful.
You think about having it cleaned for a moment. It is, after all, your old sofa. But as you stand there with your now duveeless naked old sofa you see that spring that’s been bothering you. You see how the padding’s gone on the armrests. It visibly wobbles and is chock full of stains and cuts and other sofa bruises.
Right then and there, your heart may not break, but there is a tinge of melancholy as you realize it’s time for a new sofa. No more duvees, no more pillows to create a false comfort, no more Lysol to help with the smell. It’s time for Old Sofa to hit the road. It’s time for Mr. New Sofa.
And the day Mr. New Sofa arrives you realize just what a fool youve been. You see, in order to get Mr. New Sofa in the house, you have to get Mr. Old Sofa out of the house. And when you do, you just cant believe your eyes.You stand there in front of the old sofa mouth agape.
Every scratch, every burn mark, every stain, every tear, every wear, every knick, every cut, every single imperfection is exposed for all the world to see. That relaxation youve so coveted all these years, that cosiness youve longed for and needed from your old sofa has been nothing more and nothing less than a false comfort. A ruse. A lie of convenience.
There is nothing more disgustingly depressing than daylight on an old sofa, with or without an ADIDAS duvee.


4 thoughts on “The Old Sofa”

  1. Val, you certainly have a way with words!!!! Yes, I think the world is beginning to see that old sofa for what it really is and so are the people. May the new sofa arrive soon!!!!!! Happy New Year to you and Maggie, el proximo en Cuba Libre!!!!!

  2. Wonderful!
    I can still recall abuela’s plastic-covered avocado-colored nightmare of a sofa (accent on the “a”). Hideous – though I miss it so. Oh God, and that 1970s-style mirrored wall with the gold-colored veins running through it. OH GOD! I’m having terrible flashbacks.
    Happy New Year!

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