Maybe Corduroy

I’ve been a little lost lately. I’ve been running and spinning and parachuting into nothingness to save others. I’ve been destroying myself.

There’s a couch in the bed of my truck. It sits there, covered by a flimsy tarp, waiting for the day it can go to its new home. Waiting for me to interrupt my life to take it to its new home, just as I interrupted my life to take it from its old one.

It’s weeks before Christmas and somehow my son has managed to get a new toy every day of December. It’s only weeks before Christmas and my Jack has asked me what I want once. He hasn’t gone shopping at all.

christmas tree

And it’s not that I care about the presents. I care about being cared for. I want to be cared for the way I care for others. Even strangers.

My basement is full of donations—toys and clothes and toaster ovens. I have to interrupt my life to sort through it all, but I just can’t find the time. I can’t find my sanity, either, but maybe that’s long gone.

There’s a couch in the bed of my truck, and I go out to talk to it every now and then.

The couch is a gray color with a slightly purple tint. It’s kind of like corduroy, but it’s not. I’m not too savvy with fabrics but it feels nice. I’m jealous of the couch; it’s much nicer than the one in my living room, which has been there since my father was two years old, that we sink into and get stuck in every time we sit down.

I get stuck in my couch like I’m stuck in this rut.

Alas, I cannot take the new couch, because it’s not really new and my neurotic father has an insane fear of bed bugs. He must have forgotten that he bought my bed at a yard sale when I still had my own place — when I was still responsible and not stuck, or lost.

I tell this new-old couch in the bed of my truck about my jealousy. An arm peaks out from under the tarp and I see that last night’s rain somehow snuck through and the couch is soaked. I panic; I run and I tug and in my fury to fix my mistake, I fail to notice even more rain water has formed its own little pool on the top of the couch.

couch in bed of truck

While I’m frantically trying to remove the tarp so I can dry the couch—with what I’m not sure yet, maybe I can run an extension wire one hundred feet to behind my garage and blow dry my mistake away?—it gets snagged on something and rips open to form a waterfall of rain water, cascading over the areas that have managed to stay dry.

I tell the couch about the people who will give it a new home, whenever they call me to come running, that is. I tell it how much I love them, and then I complain about everything about them. I think I’m being taken advantage of. I tell it how soon, once I unload it at its new home, an oak dining room table and six chairs will take its place. Maybe I will take care of them better.

The water continues to drip, and I throw up my hands and admit defeat.

I tell the couch about my son, who has been neglected lately so I can help strangers. I tell it about my father, who seems to be going senile in his middle age. About Jack, who I don’t even know what to say about, but I say it anyway. About my failed attempts to quit smoking, and my newfound addiction to helping strangers.

About how my life is falling apart, but I’m too busy to fix it.

I think I hear the couch speak, but I can’t make out what it said, so I snap myself out of whatever stupor I’m in and remove the tarp and get the extension cord and start to blow dry.

The call comes in for me to jump. And I do. I finish blow-drying, and I febreeze and wipe down the soft whatever-kind-of-fabric-it-is and I even plug in the electric recliner part of the couch to make sure it works. I drive the couch to its new home, and its new owners get mad that I haven’t brought any help to bring it inside. I carry all of the other donations I’ve collected for the family—clothes and lamps and Christmas ornaments and shoes and random nonsense—inside by myself.

couch

No thank you, I don’t need any help.

It’s already too late for that. I do not tell them about the water mishap.

I head home and I am lonely without the couch to confide in. I go down into my basement and I sort through clothes and toys and toaster ovens. I answer every message and promise all ten families that I will indeed get their items to them by Christmas.

boxes and bags

I ignore my life because, obviously, they need me more than I need myself.

Someone told me God has me working overtime. If I believed in God, I think I’d be pretty pissed at him right about now. But I don’t, so I can only be mad at myself. But I’m too tired for that.

*  *  *  *  *

I wrote this last December for my creative writing class. It was when Eeyore first really started coming out.


Have you ever felt like this? Did you ever become attached to an inanimate object that wasn’t even yours? Do you talk to thinks when you’re feeling down? Let me know! 


 

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