“Be careful of the sofa arms.” Edgar cautioned the movers as the pair approached his front door. With the sofa in place of the old chairs he typically dragooned from the dining room, now each member of the philosophy discussion group would have a comfortable seat. They could sit and discuss reality in comfort. No one would be forced into hard-backed chairs.
Edgar had bought the mauve sofa at an estate sale. He didn’t care about the pale lavender color, only about the price and its comfortable fit to the back. Only one hundred dollars for the high-backed sofa was a steal.
“There,” he pointed to the pair of wooden chairs. “Move them into the dining room and put the sofa there.”
Once the movers finished, Edgar mixed himself a frosty pitcher of whiskey sours. He set the pitcher and highball glass on the side table and sank deeply into the thick cushions of his new sofa. He scrunched around; the cushions learning his shape. Leaning back and flicking on the TV, reruns of “My Favorite Martian” lit up the screen. After one drink then another, he gradually dozed off.
Edgar awoke with a start. An alien, who looked just like Uncle Martin with a metallic antenna rising from his head said to Edgar, “Rise. I must have food.”
“What?” Edgar asked, sitting up, rubbing sleep out from his eyes. “What are you talking about?”
“Rise, so that I may consume food,” the alien ordered.
He stood and looked back at the sofa. “I don’t see any food here.”
“I speak of the lavender steak you sit upon, Earthling.”
The alien’s antennae vibrated. “I crave electromagnetic waves of 450 nanometers.”
Edgar was dumbfounded. The alien repeated, “Move. I must eat.”
He wiped his eyes again. “This is something to sit on, not to eat! I just bought it.”
The alien knocked Edgar to the side. Pitch black rays emanated from the alien’s eyes.
In astonishment, he watched as the mauve sofa lost its special brilliance. In seconds, the sofa was an impenetrable ebony.
Apparently sated, the alien turned its baleful ray upon the still groggy Edgar. He collapsed back onto the sofa.
Much later, Edgar awoke with a splitting headache. Wincing, he noted that the pitcher and his highball glass were both empty.
What an outrageous dream, he thought. His eyes widened with insight, grabbing his notepad for tonight’s Philosophy meeting he wrote,
One sees an object according to his use of it. Another sees it according to its different use of it. The underlying reality is the same, but different uses make for different realities.