Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Things That Go Bump in the Night

My Dear Reader,

This story is brought to you by request.

I love the bed that I have. It was given to me by my grandmother, and it's both legitimately vintage and elegantly beautiful. It's the same bed that Padre slept in when he was a little boy.

The only problem is that the mattress that came with it is just as old.

For the past few decades, the bed was used as a secondary guest bed, and until I tried to move it out of their house, I had no idea how bad the mattress truly was. Grandma had put layers and layers of blankets and sheets on top of it, creating a Princess-and-the-Pea*-kind of situation. I'm not quite a princess, so I had always slept on it just fine. When I moved it and had to leave the blankets behind, I was confident that I could handle sleeping on it without the protective barrier.

I'm tough, you know.

Two nights later, exhausted and suffering from a sore back and a mysterious rash, I went to my parents' house and took almost every blanket I could find. They will have no idea until they read this blog post.

That pretty much solved the problem as well as a person as poor as I could solve it.

I tried to save up for a mattress, but between rent and paying off a car, it wasn't easy. So a few months went by, I moved again, and I kept trying to save up to get that new mattress. I mean, after forty-or-so years, who knows what was going on inside that thing. It could have its own ecosystem that supported organisms that were slowly evolving into sentience. My mattress could be the birthplace of the race that would one day supplant humanity as Earth's dominant species.

Yup, that was probably it.

And whether that was the case or not, there was something alive in there, because about two months ago it started biting me.

It was pretty horrible. I went through almost an entire bottle of calamine lotion that week. It was the kind of experience you'd expect to have in a North Korean prison.

Near-sentient or not, it turned out that flea powder wiped them suckers out. I poured enough on my mattress to put down every creepy-crawly thing within thirty feet. And while the mass murder of my unknown assailants was quite a relief, I couldn't exactly sleep on that mattress again.

Luckily, I have a friend who has this uncanny habit of swooping in and saving the day right when I needed help the most, and she miraculously produced a new mattress for me to sleep on. She is the kind of friend I never could deserve.

Now, there is another thing about my bed that I should probably mention. Like most beds, the mattress is supported by a number of removable slats. Unlike most beds, though, mine only has only two slats left. But since I'd never had any problems with them before, I didn't even think that my new, heavier mattress would make any difference.

That was, of course, until a few nights later when I heard a loud thump, and suddenly I was see-sawing on only one slat with my toes about a foot above my head. And if it wasn't two in the morning, if I hadn't been exhausted from attending my church Christmas party, and if putting a mattress back wasn't a two-person job, maybe I would have done something about it right then. But those were not the facts of the matter.

So I just slept like that.

I was on a steep enough incline that all the blood had rushed to my head by the time I woke up. It felt like I had a bad ear infection. But you never know that you have the skill of sleeping head first on a twenty percent grade unless you try, right? Guess I'm pretty tough after all.

I turned out the troublesome slat hadn't broken; it had simply fallen out. So my roommate and I put it back in.

At some point, I'll have to get some new slats to put in my bed frame. But I have other fires to put out, and since things are no longer sucking my blood at night, it's a little low on my priority list. But I am a little wary every time I climb into bed at night, knowing that at any moment, my bed could once again turn into a catapult.

Oh, well.

Regards, best wishes, and restful slumbers,

-Cecily Jane

*That hasn't been made into a Disney movie yet? Pffft. I mean, it's a musical.


Anonymous said...

President Lincoln slept on a really bad bed with his law clerk. Great people have had bad beds. Mumu

Meg and Joe said...

Go to Home Depot and get some 2x4s. Cheap and easy solution! Your description of the old mattress really grossed me out, by the way. I am hoping that was your intention!

Anna said...

I agree with Meg and Joe except don't use 2x4's they will be too thick, use 1x4's and get at least 6, though 8 would be better.

Patti said...

haha Cecily, it's so fun to read your stories! I hope you're doing well.