Friday, August 21, 2009

For the Love of a Sofa

HideABed #3

It was born in 1981 in the far-off, corn-growing land of Illinois. MadDawg’s family brought it back east some time later, where it spent a happy adolescence in a basement in the Virginia suburbs. In November of 2001, on a sunny day amid falling leaves, it was loaded onto a Ryder truck and driven north to the great state Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The Hide-a-Bed.

Yes, folks, the Hide-a-Bed.

Part sofa. Part pull-out bed. Part treasured member of my Boston urban family.

It was the color of five-day-old oatmeal streaked with flecks of carrot. The fabric was not what one could call “soft,” but it held up well. In later years, it took brute force (and a little luck) to get the bed to close up properly into sofa position. But we didn’t judge the good little couch; the passing years had taken their toll on us, as well. No one is as limber as we once were. Poor little couch.

And yet so much more than just a couch, wasn’t it? It was an instrument of hospitality. SmAsh took up residence on it that first winter he owned the boat, when it was too cold to spend the night in Boston Harbor – the Hide-a-Bed was his safe harbor then. And when the Trafmeister Jenneral and SJT needed a place to lay their heads during times of transition, the Hide-a-Bed was home for them, too.

The couch held our friends, and it also helped us make new ones. When moving it into our Somerville apartment, its massive girth attracted the attention of our new neighbors, who were quite neighborly and helped us haul it up the front steps and into the living room. And from then we were friends – sharing food at holiday potlucks and drinking White Russians at Big Lebowski movie nights.

And when it came time to journey to fancier digs across the river, that couch was the proving ground of true friendship. I still remember feeling so blown away with gratitude for our dear urban family who so cheerfully helped us move. You can tell true friends by the ones who will help you move a Buick of a sleeper-sofa up three flights of stairs.

The Hide-a-Bed also enjoyed being our bleacher seats for major sporting events. I was sitting on it in 2004, flanked by fellow Sox fans, watching the TV with disbelieving eyes as the curse was reversed and the Red Sox won their first World Series since 1918. And it was the perfect perch to curl up on each time the Olympics (!!) rolled around and you felt like watching some late-nite curling coupled with Bob Costas’ human interest stories.

I took naps (awesome, awesome naps) on that couch. I shared laughs and practical jokes on that couch. I cried out a lot of sadness and drama on that couch, over the years.

I was looking forward to one day bringing a boy home and introducing him to the couch. That could possibly sound a little dirty, but shame on you if you read it that way. I simply meant that I wanted my future someone to have a chance to meet and greet the piece of furniture that played such a pivotal role in my twenty-something years.

But alas, the Hide-a-Bed can no longer remain in our lives. It is being called on to its next destiny (with a brief layover in a lovely spot known as Goodwill). I hope it will bring as much fellowship and comfort into the lives of its next owners as it did into mine.

Goodbye, Hide-a-Bed! You served us well. Thanks for the memories.


Anonymous said...

A very fitting tribute to a lovely, loyal member of the family. She will be greatly missed.

Coasting Anon said...

I remember spending a very hot, scratchy night on that couch after writing Jose a silly letter while drinking Margaritas. Sigh. She will be missed.