Q&A with The Couch

I interviewed (and sat on) one of furniture’s greatest specimens: the couch. I found this magnificent, faux suede sofa on the curb and decided that its views on life should be heard. Who knew that such a simple part of our lives could be so complex? This piece captures what it means to be sentient and sedentary, and the grotesque beauty of what lies underneath those cushions.

Illustrator: Stevie Lacher

When were you created, or how long have you been around?

I dunno. The first time I was brought home, everyone was wearing those weird skinny scarves and listening to Avril Lavigne, so 2004? I’m not sure how long I was in the store for. Time moves weirdly under all that fluorescent lighting.

How many homes have you lived in?

They say cats have nine lives, but really, it’s us couches that do. First, I lived with this one couple and their two kids for a couple of years. That was pretty nice. They were clean and the mother always vacuumed underneath me once a week. Then the husband got promoted and they decided that they wanted one of those fancy-schmancy “section sofas” or whatever. They had a cousin who needed a couch, so I lived with him. He was pretty quiet… didn’t get out much. We spent a lot of time watching Netflix together, which is nice because I’m always looking at the TV, even when it’s turned off. Then, he got a girlfriend, and everything changed. She moved in pretty quickly and went on a redecorating spree, and she said I had to go. So, they brought me to Savers, where I got picked up by some college kids for $50. The college lifestyle was definitely not as tranquil as my two previous ones. More butts, more parties, more passed out college students. Thankfully, it was only for a year. Then, they all graduated and didn’t want the hassle of moving me, because I am “cheap and totally replaceable.” They talked about going to IKEA for a futon all the time in front of me. It hurt, but I tried my best to just sit still and make them as comfortable as possible.

Living with college kids, huh? What was that like?

Pretty much what you’d expect living with four college dudes. I had dust bunnies up the wazoo by the time I was kicked to the curb, and had various beers and forgotten jello shots spilled underneath of me. There was a lot of shouting, especially when any hockey game was on or they played Call of Duty. Also, parties were pretty interesting. I’ve never had so many butts sit on me in a short amount of time. And then there were the post-party pass-outs. I’m eternally grateful that I’ve never been thrown up on. I got to be there for budding relationships, too. Their go-to move was to bring a girl over, watch something on Netflix, and, well, you know the rest.

How many butts have you seen over your lifetime?

Oh, man. You wouldn’t believe the array of glutes that have sat on me. I’ve seen it all: jeans, leggings, boxers. Heck, I’ve even had bare buns. Big, small, flat, round, bony. After a while, they all start to blur together.

You’ve had a bear in the house before?

No, no, bare buns. Like, naked.

You mean that people have sat on you naked before?

Oh yeah. What do you think your roommate and her boyfriend do on your couch when you’re not there?

I’m eternally grateful that I’ve never been thrown up on.

… So what’s your favorite part of being a couch?

I like that I’m a place where people can sit down and relax. I know how busy humans can get and it’s nice to be something that can help them step away from the stress. I also like all the happy moments I’m included in. I’ve seen presents opened on Christmas morning, first kisses, Harry Potter movie marathons, and countless games of Charades. I also love watching TV, so I’m really lucky that couches get to hang out in the living room. I can’t imagine being a toilet… stuck in a tiny bathroom for all of my life. Then again, there are people who have ridiculously large bathrooms with sofas in them. Those poor suckers. That would be so boring (and scarring).

You spend a lot of time in front of TVs. What’s your favorite TV show? Favorite movie?

Really anything on HGTV, but if I had to pick, I’d say House Hunters. I love interior design. I don’t get out much, so it’s always fun to see what other houses look like. My favorite movie is that Austin Powers movie with the lip sofa. Man, that couch is hot. It’s hard to pick favorites though, since I’ve seen so many.

Have you ever fallen in love?

No, I don’t think so. Even if I had, it would just be too complicated.

So you’ve never had feelings for a human or a different household object?

Both. With a piece of furniture or appliance, we could never be close enough. I guess I had a thing with a refrigerator once. I had a sweet view of the kitchen, and everyone knows how beautiful fridges can be (especially when they’re full of food). We talked a lot, but long distance was just too hard. [Sighs]. Shouting across the room got old really fast, especially knowing that we could never get closer physically. With a human, well, I only support them. The only time they support me is when they decide to move to another house, and then they have to carry me, usually complaining about how heavy I am the whole time. I really need to start watching my weight.

I guess I had a thing with a refrigerator once.

Do you get along well with other furniture?

Eh, for the most part. Except for the ottoman. That guy’s a dick. Even his name is pretentious.

When’s the last time you had a bath?

Well, I’ve never been in a bathroom, but I have had showers. Lots of things have been spilled on me, which doesn’t make me any cleaner. Water, milk, beer, nacho cheese, you name it. Dry things have been spilled on me, too. I’ve got cereal in my cushions from three winters ago. I can’t floss myself, and humans are terrible at deep cleaning. The only time they look through my cushions is when they can’t find the remote. Once they’ve got what they want, they try to make a note of cleaning down there sometime, but they always forget. “Out of sight, out of mind” is so real.

Do you like a lot of pillows?

I like two—one on each end. Anything more and it starts to get crowded and I get stuffy. I do find it amazing how much people will spend on those fluffy things. The mom I lived with once spent $50 on a throw pillow… I wish I had that kind of money. All I have is the spare change that falls between my cushions.

Do you have any advice for aspiring pieces of furniture?

Patience isn’t just a virtue, it’s a way of life. We furniture have to put up with a lot of shit, and there’s nothing we can do about it. So be patient, and don’t flinch when they vacuum underneath of you.