Old Gold Goes To Sofa Heaven

As a sofa, I knew my life would eventually come to an end. Nothing lasts forever, not even furniture. Still, I never expected it to come so suddenly with screaming winds, blinding rain, and unprecedented angry surges from the sea.

Before I explain that sad part of my life, I must tell you my good life began when I was bought by an older couple. For many years, they owned a house in a quiet neighborhood in western New York. Then in 1968, they built a new home in Cape Coral, Florida, in which to spend their retirement years. I was relieved and felt proud when they chose me to join them in beginning a new life.

I looked forward to the day I was delivered, and became really excited when they placed me in the living room. Through the big sliding glass doors I could see the swimming pool beyond which was a strip of green grass that sloped downward to the seawall bordering Mallorca Canal, one of the largest canals in Cape Coral. A bit farther away were pastel colored houses and towering palm trees backdropped by a brilliant blue sky dotted with a few fluffy white clouds.

With that, however, came a change in how I was used, and in that regard, I must confess to you that despite my ornate covering of gold colored cloth and plush cushions, I had been made as a sleeper sofa. Back in New York, I was never used as a bed, but that changed in Florida because of the number of relatives who came to visit.

The downside, however, was that although people admired me for my appearance and liked to sit on me, the bed part was a near disaster. Whoever unfolded it had to be careful they didn’t get their fingers painfully pinched. The poorly designed springs made for a night of restless sleep because no one could ever find a “sweet spot.” Also, to make the bed level, the legs had to be propped up with a couple of magazines.

I deeply regretted that anyone who slept on me had good reason not to like me. When I became depressed, however, I always felt better as I looked at that always beautiful view. That was particularly true after my original owners passed on. Although the daughters and their families came to visit for short stays, most of the time the house was quiet. Yes, there was always the scenery, but it never made up for having them present. Those were always good times, especially during Christmas when I was used while presents were being unwrapped by happy people to the delightful sounds of holiday music.

Then came Wednesday, September 28. 2022, that fateful day when my good life was turned upside down. . . by hurricane Ian.

That morning, the sky looked strangely ominous. By afternoon, the clouds had thickened, become darker, and were no longer friendly. The wind, already brisk, had become even stronger. It kept getting worse and as dusk approached, the house was being lashed by high winds and heavy rain. That’s when I wished someone had been there with me, but nobody was. All I could do was just sit there in the dark, hearing strange and menacing sounds I’d never heard before, loud, erratic, and banging noises so alien to the usual soft and tranquil sounds I’d heard so often. All of it kept getting worse and worse.

Then, and without warning, I felt water on my four sturdy legs. First, it was only the bottoms, then it moved upward. I told myself that surely I could cope with that, but when I felt it on the metal part of the bed stowed underneath, I knew everything was out of control. How much farther would it intrude upon my innards? I shuddered as I imagined the worst,  water continuing to inch up the wall, staining the bottoms of the drapes, attacking and entering everything low, vulnerable, and helpless.

The first light of day revealed an awful sight. What I had imagined had actually happened. Everything below about six inches, including the bottom of my mattress, was waterlogged, soon to be invaded by mold, a fate from which some items could escape, but not me. A mere inch of water had sealed my fate.

The next day, men came and removed all the dripping carpet from the house. Five days later, I heard two cars pull into the driveway, then voices from four members of the family who faced the daunting task of cleaning and repairing. I listened as they decided what they had to discard, their answers halting when emotion clashed with raw reality. Finally, it was my turn, but there was nothing to discuss. I was carried to the street and added to the ever larger and ugly pile to be hauled away.

As evening turned to night, heavy dew added to my nasty wetness. Then as an almost full moon rose, my sodden heaviness suddenly went away. My spirit rose high enough that I could look down look at myself, a gold sofa that for more than fifty years had kept up a good if not elegant appearance. The next stop: Sofa heaven.

A hurricane named Ian, an inescapable force of nature, was the cause of it all, a fierce and deadly storm that destroyed so much and affected the lives of so many. I never expected my life to end that way, but now that it’s over, I’m relieved.

Even if I’m never missed by those who attempted to sleep on my bed, I have no complaints. That delightful couple who bought me, loved me. Those who came to visit and sat on me wanted and needed me just as I wanted and needed them.

Maybe someday in the great beyond I, the gold sofa with a hopefully much improved sleeping part, will again be able to offer them what I offered them on earth.

I hope so. I really do.