Here I am, back on the couch. My renewed hip pain has led to my right leg swelling to an uncomfortable size, and I feel like these two little throw pillows elevating my lower leg by four inches are somehow going to help.
You see so many pictures of people relaxing on their over-sized chairs and sofas, with their laptops balanced perfectly on their curled legs. There’s probably a mug of coffee or a glass of red wine somewhere nearby, usually on the floor. They’re always smiling and they look so comfortable. That is a perfectly accurate description of how I’m not sitting.
This is basically how this whole evening goes: I’ll have one leg stretched out to reach the aforementioned throw pillows, the other will be curled up under the laptop, which is never balanced on my body. Of course, I’m covered with an old quilt I got from Etsy a couple years ago. It was a great price until I had to pay almost the same amount for shipping. The quilt is never smoothed nicely over my legs because I shift around a lot. This means the laptop will bounce around as I type, which will eventually annoy me enough that I’ll take two inches from my ballooning leg, and I’ll shove one of the throw pillows under the laptop. It provides a much more stable position, but it also raises it so that I feel like a tyrannosaurus rex trying to type.
Next to the couch is a coffee table. I guess technically it’s in front of the couch, but since I’m sitting the way I just said, it’s next to me. There’s also an end table behind me. The coffee table is too far for me to comfortably reach my slippery mason jar of Steaz grapefruit and honey iced tea. I don’t want to twist around to reach it on the end table either because that would risk hurting my trapeze muscles again. I realize the word is trapezius, but today I’m five years old. So, to help make life easier and the living room messier, I’ve got our cooler stuck between the coffee table that’s too far away and the couch. I can’t just put my glass on the floor like the people who can somehow magically sit comfortably with their laptops, because I will kick it at some point, or a dog (Wicket) will knock it over, or the dog hair that is everywhere-all-the-time-no-matter-how-many-times-we-sweep will float down like that feather in Forrest Gump until it lands squarely in my drink.
So because that’s next to me, if I ever want to get up, I’ll first have to clear the top of the cooler so I’ll have a place to put the laptop. That means I’ll have to reach over to the coffee table anyway, defeating the whole point of having the cooler. Then I’ll move the laptop to the cooler, bend the leg that’s been stuck in the same position for forty-five minutes, and lunge out of the couch, because this couch tries to swallow you. Eventually I’ll have enough of all this discomfort, and I’ll put the laptop away and open YouTube on my phone. Hopefully there are still a few “people falling down” videos I haven’t yet watched.
Better Than Today
by Don Williams