Friday, March 21, 2008

Our Couch

It started with a rip. Just one... on one cushion. That's it.
Mike's aunt said, "Don't worry about it... you can just cover it up with a blanket!" The girls had just started to eat the couch. The rip had been there for years, started by former family dogs when I was a child.
It began with that one cushion.
When the stuffing began to poke through the leather, we covered it with shiny silver duct tape.
Then... it started to spread.
Corners were chewed on. Seat cushions were slashed by sharp puppy canines. The back of the couch began to be clawed at. We would come home and clouds of fluff would be all over the floor, in the backyard, and stuck in their teeth. Duct tape was found tangled in their fur that had to be cut out with scissors.
Duct tape covered the tears. They were reopened again and again. The edges started to peel, and suddenly we found ourselves re-taping the original tears. Buying duct tape in bulk from Costco.
We bought Bitter Apple spray. The cartoon on its bottle has a puffball of a puppy with a disgusted sneer on its face. We would spray it on the duct tape and leather and it would pool in puddles, or run down the sides. It actually worked a few times. We came home, and the couch was still intact (at least as intact as when we left it a few hours before). But it stopped working. Did they get used to the taste? Did they start to adapt, or actually start to like the bitter liquid? Did it become like salad dressing to them: a little more flavor to a naturally bland meal?
I stopped wasting my money.
When we lean back, our clothes stick, leaving black marks that are impossible to erase. Hair is pulled out after lying down. Skin has to be peeled away slowly, leaving the glue in strips along the backs of our legs and arms.
Now, more than half of the couch is a faded silver. Dirt, hair and skin cells are stuck to it. But it's our couch.
I guess we're gonna need a bigger blanket.

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