The Red Couch

The history of Joe’s red couch on the cover of my book Here We Go Joe is the inspiration for this blog.

A little over a decade ago, I, a red leather couch, was created at a factory and then shipped to the furniture store where I sat, collecting dust for months. Occasionally, children would come over to look at my glossy finish, but just as they would get comfortable, their snooty parents would come over, take them by their arms, and walk away. If anyone did draw close, they usually snickered at the brightness of my red sheen or comment how I wasn’t what they needed in their open concept homes.

Then one day, an older gentleman with a crew cut and large rimmed glasses spotted me from across the show room. He looked right at me and started to smile. As he sat down and got comfortable, he stated out loud, “This will be perfect in my bachelor pad with my palm tree lamp. I will take it.”

A little later, a small pickup truck pulled up at the back of the store, lowered the tail gate and two men slid me in. As soon as we pulled away, I knew I was headed to a place where I would be appreciated for my high quality red leather and cozy seating. And sure enough for several years, my owner Joe and his girlfriend sat on my cushions and enjoyed how comfortable I was.

But my friend Joe was changing and his girlfriend stopped coming around so much. Instead, his grown children showed up with heavy discussions about a need to find him a new home. Then one day, I was packed in a dark truck with all of Joe’s other furniture and moved to a different city. The next day, while Joe was out for lunch, I was unloaded along with the palm tree lamp and placed in a small room with a kitchen dinette and an attached bedroom.

Joe was so sad to be away from his house and many days he’d only sit with his feet propped up, watching television shows without speaking a word. People would come in and sit on my leather seats while trying to bring some cheer to my friend, but to no avail. As the weeks slipped into months, Joe’s health weakened and he was unable to move from the bed that could be seen through the doorway.

Then one day, I was moved again to the home of Joe’s son. Instead of being placed inside with the other wanted furniture, I was put in the cold damp garage with all the tools and a ping pong table. Many days, no one would sit on my fine leather or rub their hands on my arm rests. But every once in a while when Joe’s son would be watching a race or listening to a podcast, he would prop himself up against my red back and fall asleep.

Once when a hurricane was roaring across the state, dogs slept on my cushions as the wind blew outside the garage. They huddled together and waited with me as the storm passed. Another time, Joe’s son pulled me out into the driveway and watched a solar eclipse pass by with his favorite companion, Carl.

But as much fun as it is when the grandchildren find me comfortable enough to sleep on or the dogs enjoy a relaxed spot, I know this isn’t home. My friend Joe is gone and I hope wherever he is, he has a red couch, just like me, to sit on.

Just the other day, Joe’s son pulled me out to the street and propped a large FREE sign against my cushions. And just as I thought I would be left out in the elements, without a chance to be chosen, a truck of workmen slowly drove by. At first it didn’t appear that they would stop, but just moments later, the truck pulled into the driveway and after a little discussion, I was placed in the back of the truck and headed down the road. And now as I feel the breeze against my red leather fabric and see the cars zip past me, I’m overcome with a sense of hope that maybe my new owner could be just as special as Joe.

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