I previously brought up the point that I was disturbed that I was mining areas that better playwrights had taken before. David Ives had his “Soap Opera” and Edward Albee his The Goat before I had my Couchophilia. What could my minor play possibly contribute?
After giving it some thought, I realized that both Ives’s and Albee’s plays are about a change in the natural order. Both men try to hide their bestial/mechanical love affairs from their wives; this type of romance is wrong.
But in “Couchophilia,” this type of romance is right. While the audience may question it, none of the characters question their passions, and the true love between man and couch is celebrated in the end. This bit of absurd triumph is something I loved about the newspaper ads for The Goat, which picture Bill Pullman with a satified “Oscar-winner” smile on his face, not unlike Ryan Wagner’s smile as Tony in the photo I use on the page. Unfortunately Albee’s play doesn’t share the ad’s jubilation; to spoil the ending, the goat is killed, and (from what I can piece together, I haven’t seen the play) her only onstage appearance is after her murder. Contrast this to “Couchophilia,” where the couch is always onstage, and whose final appearance is in a tender love scene. This is true love.
In fact, “Couchophilia” is my one play where there really is true love. In all of the others, heterosexual love leads to total chaos. Gabe and Kim stab each other in the back, Amy stabs Prometheus in the back—nightly, Jack and Wanda can’t agree on the time, and even Bill and the Mystery Woman can’t hit it off.
What is Cupid to do? Aim for the sofa, I guess.