One of My Finer Moments

by Natalie

I never like the songs that play as the credits roll at the end of a movie. A few examples:  Celine Dion crooning at the end of Titanic about her heart going on and on, except Jack had died, so no one really cared what her heart would do. The Lion King. Excellent movie. All of you Disney naysayers can just go to the land where dream squashers and negative people go to die. But really. Someone tell me how Elton John bleeding emotion for feeling the love tonight has anything to do with jungle animals.

Because it doesn’t.

I could go on, but I’ll spare you, because this isn’t actually about the credit song selections of Hollywood. Well, not really. This is about a couch. A couch that took up residence for two years at 50 Robinson Street, where I lived with my friends during college. A brown leather, extremely comfortable, couch.

It was the nap couch, the homework couch, the movie couch, the late-night chat couch. But more than anything, it was the make out couch. At one point or another, every girl in our house had a boyfriend. With only one single bedroom and five girls, there wasn’t much space for privacy. Which meant that if a couple was going to hang out at our house for the evening, they were going to end up on the couch.

Our house was tiny. The couch was in the living room, right next to the kitchen. The only thing separating one room from the other was a thin sheet of plaster a hundred years old. Even if you had the privacy of the living room, other people were never more than a few feet away. If the lights were out and a movie was on, we all knew what you were doing.

A favorite game of ours was to act like we had never been in that situation when it was someone else on the couch. We would trade knowing glances over breakfast, and whisper in the hallway:

“What time did she come into the room to go to bed last night?”

“I bet she’s so tired today!”

“I can’t believe they stayed up so late again. That’s the third time this week!”

The couch occupant knew that she was a conversation topic, and would act indifferent until it was another couple on the couch, at which point she would assume all innocence and eagerly join in the banter.

The nights when the rest of us were relegated elsewhere, we would usually congregate in the kitchen. Sometimes there would be reservations made for the couch, “I’m having my boyfriend over Friday night.” Nothing more needed to be said; we all understood.

On those nights, the door between the kitchen and the living room became a divide – if you were in the kitchen you were safe, but beyond that door it became enemy territory. We would snicker and tease, and wonder how she could possibly want to kiss him. One such evening, I happened to be in the kitchen doing homework, while the couple that had the most couch time occupied their favorite spot. The only sound coming from behind the door was the song to the credits, playing on what seemed like an endless loop. I fail to believe that anyone enjoys listening to the credit score on repeat, unless they are otherwise engaged.

I needed something to drown out the noise from only a few feet away, so I decided to put on some music.

The obvious selection was to play Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing.

Full volume.

On repeat.

I do so hate those songs they play during the credits.

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