I was looking though some photos recently and found this gem, taken of me when I was about six months old. I’ve seen this photo before yet it always gives me a laugh looking at my little elbow propped up on that pillow, my tiny hands clasped together giving off this total vibe of “everything’s cool…I’m comfy here.” Even then, it seems, I was a total couch potato.
Couch potatoing has become my thing, my specialty, my purpose in life. I treat it like an Olympic sport, a sport with different levels of competition. I excel at all of them. Sometimes I sit as if spring-loaded, ready to jump up for any reason. Springy cushions are essential if one is to excel at this first level of the sport. I can jump up for the phone, the TV remote, Casey meowing at me, more meds. It’s all practice for me.
The next level of couch potatoing is the half-lying down, propped on one elbow event. This is the one during which I watch Netflix, scroll through Facebook on my iPad, have long involved conversations with Bill. This is also the one that I was born to do, judging by my baby picture.
The last and most competitive level of this sport is during the lying-prone event. This is perhaps my best event, and I think I am a shoe-in for the gold, although I hear there is one Eastern European woman who may provide competition. I practice this event daily, never missing an opportunity to improve my skills. I lie on the couch, heating pad propped behind my head, and attempt to break the record I set yesterday—the record for trying to stay awake after returning home from school. This may seem like an easy thing to do, but when one gets up, goes to a job that can be mentally and physically exhausting, tries to smile all day so no one knows how much pain she’s in, all while throwing various medications at said pain all day, it’s obvious this is not an easy task. Drinking caffeine upon returning home is, of course, cheating. I inevitable fail, though, as the stress of attempting to retain the aura of “normal” finally reaches through to the last bit of me that can stay awake. I wake up somewhere during “Jeopardy.” I think I need more practice.
I can’t wait to display my gold medal next to the television so I can look at it every day until I fall asleep practicing for the lying-prone event. I wonder what that little baby on the couch with her elbow propped up would think if she could see herself now. I bet she never thought she’d be a potential Olympian…