Published Mar. 2022 M-Anation
“Careful of the sofa arms.” Edgar cautioned the movers as the pair approached his front door. It would replace of the old chairs he dragooned from the dining room. Each member of the philosophy discussion group could have a soft seat. They could sit and discuss reality in comfort. No one would be forced to sit on a hardwood chair.
Edgar had bought the mauve sofa at an estate sale. He didn’t care for the pale lavender color, only its price and the fit to his back. One hundred dollars for the colorful sofa. It was a steal.
“There,” he gestured for the movers, pointing at two wooden chairs. “Move them behind the dining room table and place the sofa in here.”
Once the movers finished, Edgar mixed himself a frosty pitcher of whiskey sours. He set the highball glass on the side table and sank into the thick cushions of his new furniture. He scrunched down, 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 dozed.
Edgar awoke with a start.
An alien, who looked like Uncle Martin of My Favorite Martian 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. I must consume food,” the alien said.
Edgar stood. He turned to look behind him. “I don’t see any food.”
“I speak of the lavender steak you sat upon, Earthling.”
The alien’s antennas vibrated. “I crave electromagnetic waves of 450 nanometers. Move. I must eat.”
Edgar wiped his eyes again. “This is something to sit on, not to eat! I just bought it.”
The alien knocked him to the side. Pitch black rays emanated from its eyes.
In astonishment, Edgar watched the mauve sofa lose its special brilliance. In seconds, the sofa was an impenetrable ebony.
Sated, the alien turned its baleful ray upon the groggy Edgar.
He collapsed back onto the black 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 reality according to his use of it. Another sees it according to its use. The underlying reality is the same, but different uses make for distinct realities.