The Man and The Couch
Written by Nate McKay : September 23, 2008
There is a man. And we’re sitting on his back.
Not directly on his back; but the couch we’re on does sit on his back. And since we’re on the couch, we’re sitting on his back.
I’m not sure how he got to where he is. Maybe I put him underneath, maybe you did, maybe someone long ago did. Whoever it was that first made him carry this couch doesn’t matter; we’re still on his back.
Who needs to argue history here?
Maybe there is more then one person carrying the couch we sit on. It could just be this guy though.
However, I’m sure comfortable up here. I really appreciate what that he carries us from here to there. But mostly I forget that he’s down on the ground,
with a couch on his back.
One day someone was missing from the couch. I couldn’t figure out where he went. Then I saw another set of feet by the man who carries our couch. So I decided to jump off and figure out what was going on.
“Why are you down here?” I asked my fellow couch potato.
“Well, while everyone was sleeping I saw this man crying. I couldn’t sleep with this noise, so I decided to find out what was the matter. He told me that every now and then his back really hurt from carrying this couch. Some days he can ignore it pretty well, others not so well. I figured since I haven’t stretched my legs in a while it might be a good to get some exercise, so I decided to help carry the couch. Then I realized that it was a lot of work to carry it and this man’s back must hurt quite a bit. So I stayed here.”
“Does it really hurt that bad?” I asked the man who carries the couch.
“Some days the pain is unbearable. Other days I can ignore it. But most days just fly by like a blur.”
So I decided to stay and help him carry the couch as well. It makes me sad when people cry.
After a few days of carrying the couch I decided that I needed a break. My friend had already gotten back up on the couch to rest a few times.
Why can’t I?
While I was resting upon the couch I told all of my friends of the adventures I had carrying this couch. I told them of the mans plight. And we all came to the conclusion that we must do something.
“Why does there need to be a couch?” A couchling asked. “We shouldn’t burden the man simply by providing an object for our own comfort. We can do away with it and simply sit on him. When we do this, then we will be able to better see the path he walks.”
I found this to be a great idea. We can all be enlightened as to the hardships others go through for our own comfort.
But soon the boniness of the man’s back began to make us all uncomfortable.
“Must I sit here, watching this man toil, it makes me uncomfortable. His back is awfully hard and when we consider it, we really haven’t helped him all that much. Maybe we should build a better couch, a couch that will not harm him so much. Maybe even one that will help him eat better!”
So we did. And we reflected upon the times when we helped carry the load, when we sacrificed our comforts for this man’s journey. We felt proud of ourselves, but soon forgot about the man.
I think of him from time to time. Some of us go down, a few at a time to help him carry the load. Give him new clothes. Even some new shoes from time to time. And we felt good about ourselves.
But all the while, the man continued to stumble on, with a couch upon his back.
Author Bio:: Nate is a Pentecostal who recently realize that he’s living in exile. He occasionally like to play shoegaze, write science fiction, and rant about things he doesn’t quite understand.
Image by David Austria.
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