Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Black Box - and the Unified Theory of Couches



It's always there.

At the Beginning, shortly after the Big Bang there must have been this one Couch to symbolize all the couches that ever were or ever would be. It is the same couch every time, locked in every black box anywhere.

It will be busted and old, and made of the odd paisley-like muted floral pattern that seems both timeless and trapped in the type of time labeled "past"

And then it will come into the the Black Box and pretend to be
a loveseat,
a swing,
an entire penthouse apartment all by itself,
a chaise,
a restaurant booth,
waiting room furniture,
a bus stop bench,
a bed,
a crib,
a psychiatrists couch
a designer couch.

Sometimes it will branch out and be a car, or a sculpture, or even a tree.

But it always looks the same. It's always looming somewhere near the curtains waiting for its moment. It is terribly accommodating during the rehearsals or workshops or class, absorbing the hung over, or the unserious in its broken, warm, springless embraces.

The serious are usually pacing, or sitting in hard chairs looking to keep the energy they will need for becoming:

the lovers,
the kids on the swing,
the divorcing couple in the penthouse,
the crying woman,
the man waiting for his date that will not come to the restaurant that night,
the woman waiting for her test results alone,
Marilyn Monroe,
the sleeper,
the baby,
the psychiatrist,
the designer,
the driver,
the artist,
a bird.

I wonder about who gives the Couch to the black boxes. When they shopped for it and first bought it and put it in the place of pride in the living room did they think -" This looks like the shiny new version of every old couch I ever saw backstage?"

Is it a cult ritual to buy couches like this and keep them until they are too worn for the living room and sent to the family room, and then to the weird uncle's den, and then finally the young man's first apartment from which he then donates it to the Black Box to impress the hot starving actress chick he'd like to have sex with? Does that first purchase happen because they hope it might be the One True Couch, destined to be in the Black Box?

There is a whole journey in this Couch that silently works just as hard as we do at becoming.

It is jarring to see the same couch through time and space no matter which box I am in, trying to be something plus what I already am. There is a lesson in it's effortless becoming, which only happens after it's epic journey before the Box.

Here in this box, at this time, the couch collects my box mates, they are sleepy, they are unsure and do not appreciate hard surfaces. They like the couch better when it is not expected to be other than what it is. But it's distorted now - it's been so many things it can hardly hold the shape of a couch at all. It's holding all of the shapes it could be, making it amorphous.

I wonder- when the Couch forgets it's shape altogether, where it will go? Does it ever really leave? Does it go out into the world, or is it like a phoenix where it will become ashes and then reform as the next shiny new version of itself to live through the whole life cycle again?

Just so it can be beaten and worn and universal enough to be back in the box again.

Inside the Black Box the couch is Everything.

Outside the Black Box, it is only a worn out, dated couch.

Couchy Phoenixes.

No.

Phoenixy Couches.

It's the only answer.

3 comments:

Kelly said...

Sometimes I want to leave comments, but my brain can't think anything besides...that was really good...and I feel dumb leaving that so I don't say anything.

But that was really good, so I'll say it.

joewardtherpg said...

There is only one real couch.

It is the origin of Plato's alagory of the chair. (he discovered it's truth while writting his first play, and it suddely popped into existance, floral pattern and all.)

It is locked in a phase/time shift looping thru the universe.

It is the same couch Arthur and Ford used to escape from the past to move to our present, on Lords Cricket Pitch.

It has no true shape, color, pattern or form. Only that which our minds imposse upon it. Each user's experience may differ.

unelaborated said...

There is no couch.