Since when do mattresses matter so much? Because all of a sudden, it seems like every single person I know is a complete mattress pussy. The other day, I went to the Local to yell at Keiger some more, and somehow instead ended up asking him in a quasi-civil manner how he's been lately. He launched into this starry-eyed soliloquy about his brand new king-sized mattress and all the zillion-thread-count bed sheets he'd imported from a company in Egypt that excavates them out from under dead pharaohs or something, and I don't know about you, but the last thing a girl wants to hear is how happy her ex-boyfriend is sleeping all alone (hopefully) in his big, new, pussy-plush fucking super spring that he probably paid more for than he did on all their past dates combined. So, of course, I had to start yelling at him again.
"You could call me, you know," I heard him say as I stormed out. Not really. I erased his number off my phone and threw his house key in the river.
So I called Lary instead. "What the hell is it about mattresses?" I shrieked at him. Lary's a good person to ask. His place is little more than a mosquito-infested concrete bunker (although he did add air conditioning recently), with corroded floors that have stuff growing through the cracks, yet right in the middle of everything, almost like a throne, is this king-sized bed with a cushy-ass mattress so thick and pillowy, it could probably absorb a fleet of crashing aircraft. Lary does not even have curtains -- or windows, for that matter, depending on the destructiveness of his mood -- yet he invested more money purchasing that mattress than he did when he bought the entire dilapidated spider hole he calls a home.
"It's great," Lary swears, "Since I've been sleeping on that mattress, I have fewer dreams about carnage, rape and mutilation." Right. As if he'd ever consider fewer thoughts of rape and mutilation a positive byproduct. "You pussy," I bitched. (I really am using that word a lot lately.)
When I was a kid, mattresses were like the last thing my family thought about. Probably because mattresses are the hardest things to move in and out of a house, and since we were always moving in and out of houses, we usually just left ours behind. My mother was always into beds that served other purposes, too, like her "trundle bed" phase. A trundle bed is actually two twin beds, one on top of the other, with the upper one acting as a sofa of sorts, while the lower one awaits underneath it on wheels, so it can pop up and surprise visitors with a rest area that is as comfortable as a pit full of chips collected from the Petrified Forest.
The only problem is that we never had guests. So these wondrous conversions inevitably became our actual bedroom furniture, at first just until we could replace our real mattress, but since we always moved again before that could happen, we eventually dropped the pretense. My room had the "corner unit" as my mother liked to call it, an L-shaped thing that was joined at the bend by an end table that also served as an alcove to stash the front half of each cot. It did not have fitted sheets, but rather upholstered pad covers made from that bristly, orange synthetic '70s material spun from volcanic magma or whatever.
Sleeping on that overnight thoroughly stippled my skin, so that for the first two periods of class I always looked like I was fighting a flea-allergy outbreak. Complain as I might, though, my sister had it worse. She got the sofa bed. The mattress on that was half as thick as the kind they provide criminals in the county jail. Worse, it was a "love seat" sofa bed, which means it pulled out to provide less width than the backseat of our family Fairlane.
But hey, when it closed up, it automatically converted her room to an additional den, or "salon," a term preferred by my mother, who envisioned dinner parties after which women would retire to the salon to compare curtain patterns so the men could sit in the living room and belch among themselves. I think my mother was always entertaining thoughts of entertaining people, that one day we might live in one place long enough to have, like, guests. Our home seemed to be in constant preparation for that, all our rooms ready to convert into a network of seating areas to welcome company that never came. Looking back, I wish for her sake that we'd had some.
So I was in that mind-set as I drove around aimlessly, fuming about Keiger, only it wasn't so aimless because all of a sudden I was pulling into his driveway. I just miss him so much, I miss how his arms enclose me and fold me all up in him, converting me into something that can stand another day like the one I just had. I miss his hands on my face, and the way he murmured in my ear. "Don't you worry," he'd say, "you're strong." Ha! I'm not that strong. Here I am, staring at his door. Who's the mattress now? But still I stood there, because he was inside, all alone in that stupid big-ass bed, and I just don't want the people I love to hope for company that never comes anymore.
Hollis Gillespie, a Writer's Digest "Breakout Author of the Year," is the author of Bleachy-Haired Honky Bitch: Tales from a Bad Neighborhood (now available in paperback) and Confessions of a Recovering Slut and Other Love Stories. Her commentaries can be heard on NPR's "All Things Considered." www.hollisgillespie.com.
Very interesting post on online horoscope reading. Here is another great post on Aries and…
>Not understand why they can't adopt a pet when their current ones are unvaccinated and…
Hopefully he has enough sense not to repeat the TSPLOST debacle.
@ Mark from Atlanta "Call me crazy, but I really don't think the U.S. Navy…
"wringing his hands in indecision, paralyzed by over-analysis." __________________________________________________ Call me crazy, but I really…