Monday, January 30, 2012

Sleeping in Bed

Last night, I slept in my own bed for the first time since 2009. I don't remember the last night I slept in my old bed at the Strode House caretaker's cabin. I often avoided sleeping in the actual cabin, preferring the climate control of the Strode Studio. But the last time I slept in my (chosen and owned by me) bed (a comfortable, flat, cushiony mattress-and-frame contraption) must have been November of 2009. My brain had already landed in some romantic version of Liberia, but my back dearly loved the firm-yet-gentle Denver Mattress I'd slept on for two years.

The bed at Cuttington was...flat. Ish. Liberians, especially Kpelle, are typically much smaller than me. Their furniture reflects that. The men who engineered my bed never considered someone my size. The wood was heavy, but the joints were flimsy. Once it came apart, splintered, and rusty nails shot from the wood every which way. When Maintenance came to repair the bed, the carpenters chuckled and patted me on the back. They thought I destroyed the bed in the throes of passion, and nothing convinced them otherwise.

I slept at Cuttington, on the thin beds at St. Mary's Convent, in a guest house in Voinjama, in the comfortable beds at Kendeja and the Cape Hotel, on various American hotel beds, on transit seats (airplanes, trains, cars) and on my parent's couch. Then I moved back to Tuscaloosa. Back to school. I bought a futon and slept on it for five months. I've slept on futons before - back in the 90's - and my backside is just not as springy as I remember. But finally, last night, I found a mattress. My dear friend Monica and I lugged it upstairs into my apartment. I tossed the futon pad onto the futon frame in the living room and remade my bed.

Andy: I'm gonna sleep tonight!
Andy's back: Mmmmaybe not.

I couldn't sleep. Apparently I've become accustomed to sleeping in someone else's comfortable bed, or on my own uncomfortable bed. The bed felt too nice, too comfy. I'll try again tonight.

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