Waking Up On The Black Couch

George Chapter 3 part 1: The Black Couch

Feb 27, 2011 by

Returning home, the day’s events washed over me like a proper London rain. I was completely soaked in the wet energy of others, their grief and that of my own and could barely walk up the steps to our front door. Throughout the last hours I kept thinking to myself, ‘I have to get through this day, they have to know that they can count on me, be the rock, be the foundation, get this done.’

Upon entering our home, there was a deafening silence. It was so very quiet, void of all of the laughter and filled with the remnants of my rapid departure to the hospital the morning he had slipped from a coma into the beyond.

In my haste to find a black outfit, that wasn’t a little black dress, but a black turtleneck, pencil skirt combination with a suit-jacket, that would be conservative enough that the Chang family would not complain (and I felt best represented my mood) the closet looked like a small cyclone had hit it. The quiet eerily felt like the aftermath of that wind storm.

So, in typical Italian fashion – I wanted noise. I wanted something to cut through the air like a knife through a porterhouse. I began to put his CD collection in the disc changer as if listening to something that he loved might bring his spirit back. In some small way he’d be there with me.

I’d placed the CD changer on random and was surrounded by the music – everything from ACDC, Atari Teenage Riot, Black Sabbath, Beck, The Beatles, Billy Holiday, Blur, Buddy Guy, Jeff Buckley, The Cardigans, John Coltrane, Nick Drake, Dawn Penn, John Lennon, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Massive Attack, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, PH Balance, PiL, PJ  Harvey, Portishead, Public Enemy, the Sex Pistols, The Who, XTC…the list is more lengthy as it is eclectic.

And I began to clean. I cleaned everything, stern to bow as they say. I scrubbed every inch of the place. I organized piles of pop culture and music magazines, clearing the shelves of records (LPs, 45s, 78) and the Star Wars and Star Trek figurines he’d collected over the years …  he was a DJ after all. I was completely and utterly manic.

At around 3:30 am or 4 am I remember collapsing in my funeral attire wrapped in a white apron that tied at the back and neck, printed with red lettering and small hearts, with the message Kiss The Cook.  I had been wearing this black uniform for the past 36 hours and did not even take the time to remove my heels. I sat on the couch where he spent most of the years prior to being sick and allowed this massive, black leather, Italian confection to engulf me.  As I leaned back I remembered all of the trouble it took to finally procure that massive black beauty, that to me, looked like sex on sliver legs.

The black couch was originally a bone of contention between us. You see, I loved modern furniture and George was a fan of antique furniture from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. He loved the kind of stuff you’d see on TV – I LOVE LUCY or The Mod Squad. Having not grown up on American TV, I was at a loss. He used to kid me about the fact that people did not hang around our dinner parties because the furniture that I had chosen made their bums hurt so they’d leave before it was time to clean-up. My retort was always the same, “People don’t like to clean up after they eat at a restaurant so we should not complain if they prefer to dine and dash!”

We spent days, weeks, months, shopping for the couch that would be the centerpiece of our home that I thought we would share together for “all the rest of our lives.” We went to shops up off of Jimmy Carter Boulevard, Buford Highway and even antique places in Savannah. I humored him going along with the antique-ing idea because it made him happy.

Finally, I found a beautiful piece at DOMUS that was extremely expensive and took almost 10 weeks to arrive. When it did, you would have thought we were giving birth! At first I would not let anyone sit on it.  It was Italian and art – the Bugatti of couches. Black, leather sex smack dab in the living room of this beautiful hard wood floored bungalow in L5P. Soon after, we christened it in our own special way, with a proper evening of champagne infused fun! And it became part of our home. The furniture in our home was, well eclectic, but to me it all fit together nicely – kind of like the two of us.

During the time of his first illness, that couch was the place he rested, the place he got sick, the place where I bathed him and at times it was his bed. It officially became an inanimate part of the family. And it still smelled like him. So on the morning after George was finally laid to rest, it seemed appropriate that I should wake up there.

More George Chapters

About the Author

Dorothéa Bozicolona-Volpe Has Written 19 Articles For Us!

Dorothea is a senior strategic marketing executive, fluent in 4 languages, who specializes in developing new business for national and international brands via strategic partnerships and technology. She specializes in integrating social media into marketing strategies and understanding how to measure, optimize and build current new media efforts to increase value and develop strong relationships between consumers and brands
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  1. It is interesting how sights, sounds, smells, and textures can conjure up such strong memories…

  2. Harry

    Thank you for the very touching story. It helps me understand what makes Dorothea “tick”. Looking forward to more…

  3. I love your story, Dorothea. My heart goes out to you for having had to deal with such a tragedy at a young age, but that is part of the story….how you moved through it so you could continue with your life. Inspiring. I will look forward to the next installment. – SerenaK

    • Dorothea

      Thanks for kind encouragement. I am in the midst of the Chapter on the launch of M & M’s and my move to Haiti. Stay tuned.

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