Well, to say it has been a while would be an understatement. I started this site back in December and posted a bunch in the beginning, but the last few months I’ve done a terrible job of updating my blog. But never fear! I’m back and I fully intend to do a much better job!
I’ve been in Washington DC for almost a month now so over the next few days I’ll be posting a few tales from my first couple of adventures.
Today’s story is “The Tale of The Blue Couch.” A story about a mythic piece of furniture. Wars have been fought over this couch, kingdoms have crumbled just to sit on this marvelous sofa. It is a tale of new beginnings, of loss, and ultimately, a unique commentary on the human condition.
My journey to DC was actually quite simple, aside from taking a wrong turn and ending up at the Pentagon. The Uhaul I rented surprisingly drove quite well. The trip took just over six hours.
Moving in all my stuff was another story. The Uhaul had been packed to maximum capacity. And deep underneath all of my boxes was the dreaded blue couch. The couch itself is an amazing couch. It was just made with, what feels like some combination of solid steel and adamantium. Just getting it from my grandmother’s house and into the Uhaul almost killed me and my mom. So, as we began unpacking, I knew that the couch laid at the bottom, just waiting for someone to try and lift it.
Finally, almost all of the boxes and furniture were unloaded. And there sat the blue couch. We moved it onto the street so we could get the last few boxes and to delay our battle a bit longer. Each time we walked past the couch, I could feel it’s contempt for us. I could almost hear it saying, “Foolish mortals. Many have fallen trying to move me, you will fair no better.”
Maybe he was right, but there was only one way to find out.
Also, this is a good time to mention that our apartment is on the 2nd floor and to get up to it you have to take the world’s narrowest staircase with the world’s lowest ceiling. My bed frame barely made it up.
With the final boxes moved in the time had come. Hayden and I looked at each other the same way Frodo and Sam looked at each other as they started their journey to Mount Doom. No words were said. We just picked it up and began our quest. Getting through the front door was our first test. The couch was too big to bring right through the door frame so we had to begin a full scale game of Tetris.
We twisted left and right, up and down, backwards and forwards, but we couldn’t get it through. I feared that the couch may be a lost cause, doomed to sit on the side of the road. But, by some miracle, the final configuration we moved the couch in worked! With the first level of our quest complete we moved onto the stairs.
This was a much trickery scenario than the door frame. The doorframe tested our mental prowess only. The stairs however, combined mental and physical stamina. We couldn’t lift the couch too high, otherwise it would hit the ceiling, too low and we wouldn’t be able to get a solid grip to lift it. We were able to get it halfway up but then paused and lost most of our momentum. We began to lose hope too.
That’s when something snapped in me. This couch was going to be in our apartment. I dug deep and summed strength I didn’t know I possessed. It was raw power. Hayden later told me that I had a look on my face similar to a wild animal. I was in the primal state of my ancestors. All the Underwoods before me were looking down on me at that moment. This was my test. I couldn’t disappoint them. I looked down at Hayden, the Frodo to my Sam. “I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you!” And in one final bout of strength, I pulled it to the landing.
I’m pretty sure I blacked out for the rest of the quest. Witnesses say that once we got it to the landing it was an easy spin around and we carried the couch upside down over the second flight of stairs and into our apartment.
I regained consciousness a short time later and there, in front of me, sat the blue couch in all its glory.
I equate the feeling of getting the couch into the apartment much to that of how Arthur felt when he pulled the sword from the stone. And just like Arthur, we were now the kings of our apartment.
I haven’t sat down to truly write since I was in college. I’ve done some scattered journaling here and there, but nothing of any real substance. My plan for this blog is for it to be a creative outlet for me. I want to challenge myself to be a better writer and storyteller. Sometimes my posts will be about myself or what’s going on in my life or it may be a short story I’ve been working on. Who knows? I appreciate you taking the time to read through this and I hope you get some enjoyment out of it!
Yesterday I finished a production of “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” at The Green Room Community Theatre in Newton, NC. Our final performance was a well attended success!
“Chitty” can very easily be passed off as a “Mary Poppins” esque knockoff. The plot doesn’t always make sense, the songs are cheesy at times. One could very easily watch it and think “Well, that was fun” and not put anymore thought into it. I was one of those people when I first started rehearsing. I didn’t think much about it. All I knew going into it was that it had something to do with a car and at one point they sing a very repetitive song that I knew would be stuck in my head until my 90th birthday. However, through the rehearsal process, I found a much deeper meaning in both the show as well as Community Theatre in general.
“Chitty” at its heart is about family. In the beginning of the show we meet Caractacus Potts and his two children Jeremy and Jemima. We learn that Potts’ wife has passed away and he and his father are taking care of the children. Through a series of twists and turns, and some theatre magic, Caractacus and Truly Scrumptious end up together and presumably live happily ever after. Again, not the most compelling story. But it’s not the story that I found so interesting. It’s that the show reminds audiences to not lose their imaginations.
There is very little room in today’s society for imagination. In schools, arts programs are slashed left and right and more STEM programs are added. All that matters is that each student passes their EOGs. I have seen so many wonderful teacher try to keep imagination and wonder in their classrooms, but they are so bogged down with preparing for various tests that it is almost impossible to balance the two. “Chitty” reminds us just how important our imaginations are. They are what make life interesting. I am so grateful that my childhood was filled with books and having adventures with my friends and not screens. I am also thankful for theatre. It too keeps my imagination alive. Just this year I have been a wooden puppet, a Prince, and, most recently, a Childcatcher!
I am so very lucky to have The Green Room in my life. It has given me a sense of purpose and has opened the door to meeting so many wonderful people. Doing this show reaffirmed my love of theatre. It happened during one of our school shows. I was sitting in the Blackbox waiting for our next show and I looked around at all of the people in our wonderful cast. No one was getting paid, in fact, I’m sure some people were taking a pay cut just to be in this show. No one was forced to be there. There was no obligation. Only love. Love for our community, love for the show, and love for each other. I hope each and every one of you gets to experience this powerful feeling at some point in your life because it is magical.
I know this post is a little all over the place, but hey, it’s my first post and I’m feeling a little emotional right now. Thanks for reading!