A story by Luis Bernardo Pérez
They just show up on the street, cumbersome and worn, as if boasting how out of place and abandoned they are. Only yesterday they were furniture in a respectable home and had their own place in a living room or den, but come the morning, you find them on any street corner or under a lamppost -alone- contending against the weather. Their only chance for survival is for a stranger to come by willing to pick them up to furnish his own house. This rarely happens. The dirty upholstery, the cigarette burns, the broken leg, the tattered, shapeless seat make deserted couches objects of scorn.
Most often they sit in the same place for weeks, months even! Harboring every kind of vermin, drinking in rainwater and slowly rotting until at last (to the neighbors’ relief!) the municipal garbage service hauls them away.
Yet just before this happens; just before the weather, moisture and canine detritus completely ruin a deserted couch, you should take the opportunity to stretch out in it. Don’t let such a chance pass you by ! Any morning as you hurry to work, if you run into one, take a few minutes… Muster up the courage to overcome your natural disgust over sitting on a piece of furniture in such a state. Yes, it is very likely that the other passers-by will produce a certain discomfiture, but don’t feel embarrassed. Act as if you were in your own living room: just sit down and try to find your most comfortable position. What if the backrest is torn, its innards spilling out everywhere, or if the armrests are loose or stained? Cross your legs. You might even feel like smoking or scratching your head. Let yourself go! Little by little you’ll begin to experience a feeling of placidness, of serenity beyond words that will let you view the world with new eyes. This perhaps could even be the first time in your life that you momentarily stop to distance yourself from everyday events to view them as if you were sitting in a theater. From that vantage point everyday realities may well appear like a laughable spectacle; like a play with an absurd and ridiculous script.
All at once, this experience will reveal to you the meaning of existence and your own reason for being. Then upon such a revelation (quite comparable to an epiphany!) you will stand up, tidy your suit and be on your way. Nevertheless, it is very likely that you will not be in such a hurry as before… you might not even want to get to work.
Translation: Martha Macías