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She Was Your Thrift Store Couch

She is his thrift store couch

A recent project on Electric Lit, a favorite place for inspiration in art and writing, is a post from Kelly Link who asked her followers to describe their writing project as a couch. Ha!  I’ve done that already in both art and writing so I will share. The digital art was created from an essay I wrote fifteen years ago but recently dug up and incorporated into a book in process.  Here are a few excerpts from a chapter in the book titled – A Lot Less Chaos.

I used to think I could save you. Ha! Don’t all women think that? I used to think you were this courageous, centered spirit. We are so fooled by words and romanticized visions, movies and fairy tales we scarcely see our own reflections when in love. The mirror is a madness itself delivering back the false frames—little stills of some fraction of our personality.

Today I am angry. Yesterday I wasn’t. It has been a back road 4-wheel ride this past 6 months. You know I’ve lost 20 pounds? I guess you know I was only 118  to start with which means I can’t sit down for long on hard surfaces. I have no ass fat. My breasts too have shrunk from 34DD to 32A. Have you seen the string bikini I’ve been wearing? I quite like the feeling of being a little thing now but I’ve had comments about my health from friends and work associates so I’m drinking Ensures—you know those canned multi-vitamin weight gain drinks for old people. Yeah, so I’ll be putting most of the weight back on. More weight. Less you. That will work.

I know who you are, you know. You told me everything about your family and your youth. Did you forget? I know why you hide. What a pathetic female—which is precisely why you chose her. She’s a thrift store couch—a familiar, sagging comfort you don’t have to think about. You can spill food on her, sit on her sweaty, put your feet up—she won’t care. Precisely. She’s not interesting or clever or demanding. She’s a object stuffed and complacent and all that makes it easier when you have to leave her behind later—when your healing is complete—if it ever is. In the meantime, she’ll never leave, and that suits you better than the unknown with me.

Lately, I’ve started to notice men again. Finally. There was a point passed—a line crossed, a moment when I went devastated to barely alive but at least conscious of life, of men and their attributes and that will distract me, if nothing else. That physical reawakening is my ticket back to life—and this year will be a full stop ending of you and a new beginning with a lot less chaos.