January 30, 2017

By Arthur H. Gunther III
Couches are for more than potatoes, of course, though in my working years it seemed I never tarried long enough on one
before falling asleep. These days a comfy sofa — davenport, chesterfield, divan by other names — near a fireplace on a coldish night, with something to read or to watch or even an iPad with which to fiddle is something of a treat. Kinda makes a nice ending of the day. A little red wine doesn’t hurt.
In other of life’s seasons, junior and sis might have been expected to sit on the aunt’s couch with hands folded and lips sealed as the adults chatted away. An ordeal perhaps worsened by those torturous plastic seat covers once so in vogue. A hot day might have you sticking closer than Bonomo’s Turkish Taffy, with the same suction release when you got up.
We had a sleeper sofa when I was a kid, because, until the family bought a house, we rented in four places, and usually there was just one bedroom. So, after TV, the cushions would come off the sleeper, the unit folded out and a bed made for my parents. Worked OK except when you got your fingers stuck in the folding mechanism.
In the short span of the teen, young adult years, your girlfriend, if you had one, might invite you over. You might be planted on the living room sofa with her closely seated to your right. Heart racing, you stole kisses in between her mom coming in from the kitchen.
The married, child-raising season might have found you horsing around with wee monsters who grew up so quickly. Their toys were always under the couch, and your age showed as the joints began to creak, looking for something.
Now, with time on my hands, the family dispersed, the old divan offers a memory station where thoughts of this or that, on sofa or not, can play out in day-dreaming. Or night.

The writer is a retired newspaperman who can be reached at