Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Into The Neutral-Weave Arms Of Morpheus

It's well before my bedtime, and Dave is sound asleep on the Sleep Fumes Couch. Dave is not a good sleeper. He gets by on the virtue of the first three or four solid hours he gets just after finishing dinner, and then he cobbles together a mosaic of wakefulness, TV, brief losses of consciousness, and the internet, until he gives up around dawn and starts another productive day. He can sleep in the car. In fact he can't stay awake as a passenger in a moving automobile. When he's really short of sleep he's been known to beg me to drive him around. There aren't really too many adults who get all the sleep they want. It's a gift.

That's why we think of our Sleep Fumes Couch as a gift, freely offered to anyone who visits our cabin. No one is immune. When we bought the place, it came with furnishings, such as they were. They included mismatched cutlery, board games, antique packets of cocoa, and a fair amount of furniture that couldn't withstand ordinary adult use. So a lot of that has gone by the wayside and been replaced by garage-sale items of equal cheapness and more substance.  The Sleep Fumes Couch that came with the place is an exception. It has reigned in its original position from the get-go.

It's sturdy and has one of those '80s neutral, unobtrusive weaves. Nothing objectionable about it. In all likelihood it has served, or is serving, as bedding material or actual beds for a transient rodent population. No matter. At some point anyone who visits this cabin will find him or herself irretrievably drawn to sit on the couch, possibly sprawl a little, and then be sucked into it like an octopus in coral. They virtually disappear. Their mouths gape. Noises are emitted. Everyone not on the couch, which is everyone else at this point--because they are taking up the whole thing--is quite amused by this. Photographs are taken. We all feel a little superior because we, personally, have not lost control of our saliva in the middle of the day. But our time's coming.

We can only surmise that the Couch has magical Sleep Fumes in it, and we are all helpless in its vicinity until Glinda the Good Witch shows up and snows on us. There's a possibility that the lure of the Sleep Fumes Couch has something to do with the confluence of abundant clean air and fatty foods and romping good exercise and a nearby stoked wood stove and, gosh, alcohol. But you never see people curled up on the floor, or with their foreheads plonked into the mashed potatoes, except that once, and there was Benadryl involved then.

No. It's the magical Sleep Fumes in the Sleep Fumes Couch. I wish I could bottle them.

34 comments:

  1. Have you tried covering a modern couch in similar 80s fabric? Perhaps that's the key. You may have to match the dimensions too.

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  2. That couch is a demonic entity from some dark parallel world, I'm sure of it. Just add some ominous music, and your history of it has the makings of an effective horror-movie opening. Like the wardrobe of Narnia, it sucks you in little by little, to sleep, perchance to dream, and at length to draw you into some neutral-weave, fume-shrouded Octopus's Garden realm. Unfortunately that's probably where the transient rodents ended up too.

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    1. I could so see a Stephen King book made out of this! Some guy suffers from insomnia and can't fall asleep anywhere except this sofa, where he enters what only seems to be a vivid dream state. It starts out being pleasant dreams, but is revealed as being a gradually unfolding nightmarish alternate universe... one that is seeping into our own. It gives me shivers just thinking about taking a nap on this sofa now!

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    2. Man, you two have gone very dark! It's SLEEP, SLEEP I tell you! Come sit! Just sit a spell. It's comfy over here. And so warm.

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  3. A stoked wood fire and almost any couch will do for me.

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  4. Sounds like the bones of a good syfy story to me.

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    1. I've never thought about this blessing in our midst as an ominous thing...until now.

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  5. I have no doubt that I would succumb to the couch. Seeing the picture of Dave in his natural habitat makes me wonder if I am genetically linked to him.

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    1. He has, like, two relatives. He could use some more.

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  6. I WANT that couch. Really, really want that couch.

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    1. I will take you there. You just need to get here.

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  7. When my son was a baby, I used to drive him around to get him to sleep. Good to know it still works on adults who need nappy time!

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    1. But did you have to keep driving all night? Because that kind of messes up the "mommy gets her sleep" part.

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  8. I have a recliner that does the same thing. We call it the incredible sleeping chair. Best place for Sunday afternoon naps.

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    1. I don't take naps often. But when I really feel one coming on, and I'm in my recliner, I have the sensation that I am dialing down my consciousness with the recline-lever.

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  9. At our house, we have an anomally of physics known as Couch Gravity (or "couch grabbity," depending on how foolish we feel about having recently succumbed). It's similar to Bed Gravity, but both more powerful and irresistible. Sounds like you might have an instance of the same phenomena on your hands. Largeness and beigeness are indicative signs...the couch, not necessarily the victim. We have trouble accepting the evidence accumulated at our locale and sometimes argue over whose turn it is to conduct research. For the good of humanity.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. I am totally stealing Couch Grabbity.

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  10. Please don't hate me but I can sleep pretty much anywhere, any time, so I'm passing over the whole thing about the couch to ask what about this story of foreheads plonked into mashed potatoes and WHERE IS THE PHOTO???

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    1. There was a Dave and a vast surplus of mosquitoes and a bunch of Benadryl and I deeply regret the lack of a photo. It won't happen again.

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    2. One is a surplus of mosquitoes, if you ask me.

      And that was just entertaining enough to make up for having no photo. Good save.

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    3. Dave has proved himself to be such a good sport about such things in the past, I'm surprised he hasn't agreed to a re-creation of the Mashed Potato Event.

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    4. I agree! Dave? Dave? Come in, Dave!

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  11. I am lucky with sleep, and my old friends envy me. I don't know why it is - it has to do with horizontality. Can't read in bed for more than a few minutes and I sense it, a wave, coming on, a deliciousness, heavy and welcome

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    1. That IS lucky! I kind of am, too. I've been sleeping pretty well since I retired, and I slept well before that too--but kept having to get up a couple hours early for the alarm. Lately, I've been going to sleep just fine and waking up around five for a couple hours.

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  12. I once had a couch like that. I had many a good nights sleep on it. I LOVED that couch. Then when our son moved out, my husband loaned it to him till he could get his own. I was sad, but we had another couch in the formal livingroom to use for a whille and this one we loaned was the older one.
    Eventually he called and said he got a couch at a thrift store. I was jazzed I would get my couch back! Then he informed me that his dogs (2 pitbulls) had torn the sofa up and it was at the dump. WAHHHHH!

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    1. Shoot! If I tossed out furniture whenever my cat tore it up, I'd have no furniture!

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  13. I sleep like Dave! Maybe we should play scrabble or something at night.No, wait! We'd need to drain the Pacific and meet in the middle...

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    1. Not really! He plays Lexulous on Facebook. You could friend each other and have at it in the middle of the night.

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  14. If I plonk down in my Stressless chair with a baseball game on, I'm gone after two pitches. However, if I go to bed knowing I have to get up the next day to do something, I can watch the numbers change on the clock all night.

    You know, it might be the woodstove causing the couch fibres to off-gas.

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    1. You make a very good point. And, you know, I sleep pretty well a lot of the time, but I also have spells of sleeplessness from 5-7or so sometimes, and the fact that I don't have to get up makes them a lot easier to take. Is there anything more restful than the thought "if I go to sleep RIGHT THIS SECOND I'll get 2-1/2 hours of sleep?"

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