Going to the Mattresses

Last Friday morning I woke up with my knees swollen and angry at me.  That was it. 

“This is the final straw,” I thought to myself. “I need to just do it…I need to get a new mattress.” 

Now, I love to spend money as much as the next guy…but on fun stuff like shoes and the crap in the $1 bins at Target.  Functional things like mattresses and pot holders just make me furious.  Proof that the things closest to you are least valued…superficially at least.

As I was falling asleep last night I started getting nostalgic about my mattress.  I’m embarrassed to say how long I’ve had it but let’s just say it got me through my first teaching job, all of graduate school, and my working life in Chicago.  It’s been a mainstay, a trooper among my other furniture, a steadfast friend that even now I look at and think, “am I making a mistake?  Surely you could hang in there for a little longer.”

Lest you think I’m some kind of weirdo with deep affection for furniture, I’m not.  But I do have a hard time letting go.  Sometimes I wonder if I have a harder time than most people.  I see even the inanimate objects in my life as collectors of stories–witnesses to my life…sometimes the only witness to things that only I know about.  I’m pretty sure this is not a typical perspective.  It sounds like something out of the unknown chapter of The Secret Garden.  Life has been lived there.  Many, many hours of dreams have happened there.  And some disillusionment too.  And on Friday, it’ll be carted away like junk (by guys working for a company with “junk” in the title…).  It doesn’t seem to do it justice.

Even more than that, it feels like all of those experiences–the dreams, the sleep, the contemplation, the sleep–the memories of those are going with it.  This likely sounds absurd.  I understand that.  But that’s me.  My experience is just as much about context as it is about action (or non-action).

On the sunnier side, I have a new mattress coming that I’m hoping will cure some SERIOUS sleep issues I’ve had for awhile now.  So maybe I should be sighing in relief.  But until that swap happens and I start to make it my own, I’m going to continue to mourn the death of my old mattress…may she be recycled into something beautifully brilliant.

In probably a year or so, I’m going to have to say goodbye to my couch.  I’m already dreading that day.  My couch is essentially my alter ego.

The struggle is real.

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