Monday, April 4, 2016

The View from Couch Island: A Message from Your Concierge

In an effort to post more often, I've decided to drop the formality of only posting about writing-related things, and write about the things that I trip over every day that grab my attention. So, let's begin right here:

Couch Island is where I live. Since I was diagnosed with Degenerative Disk Disease about seven years ago, my day-to-day world has shrunk down to the couch by the window and the bed. Oh, I get out now and then, depending on how my pain is behaving. Sometimes it's only once in a month that I'll be well enough to leave the house. Thankfully, due to a delicate balance of meds and finicky tricks and tweaks, I can get out of the house once or twice a week for brief and/or well-planned outings like a trip to the grocery store (a place I adore, but only get to see a few times a year) or a visit to a friend's house lugging my pillow and heating pad along if I hope to stay for more than an hour or so. That's called Island Hopping, or getting to know the other couches around town. The pain never stops, but it comes in different volumes. It's pretty loud all the time, but sometimes it's a radio blaring a song you hate right in your ear, and sometimes it's a sound cannon they use to break up riots.

I do still travel as much as I can. I spent my early years travelling the Southeast with my mom and dad whose job as a musical instrument company rep required him to go from music store to music store, doing the job of a website in a pre-internet world. I grew to love the motels--still clad in the leftover palette of the 60's, aquamarine and tangerine--and I still sleep better to the sound of a humming hotel air conditioner than anywhere else. The hotels where I roam are even more important now, since I know I'll be spending a fair amount of time in my room, getting to know Couch (or Bed) Island there. When I am out, a lot of what I do involves remaining in a reclined position. I have lain in pain on the most beautiful beaches of the Caribbean and on verandas overlooking the most vibrant cities. If I have to recline in pain somewhere, it may as well be somewhere amazing.

So, most of my day is spent semi-reclining, the pile of pillows I'm propped on as carefully adjusted as the trigger wires of a bomb on a late-night cop show. This is where I work, play, train my dog, eat most of my meals, and watch the rest of the world do what it does. Welcome to Couch Island. I hope you'll enjoy your time here.

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