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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

unmade beds

I didn't make my bed today, I just cast off the duvet and hopped over to the computer. Say what you may there is something beautiful in the chaos of an unmade bed, the sheet is all bunched up in lines that could mean anything, they run this way and that crissing and crossing, meeting and leaving each other yet again, they cut deep crevasses making mountains and valleys, an imprint of the dreams you may have had over the night, a psychic fingerprint that's different every night.

The duvet has just been carelessly thrown off,left in a heap waiting to be used or fixed, that may not be beautiful, probably a little sad, the thing that gave us warmth treated so carelessly and now just lying there with no hope. But there's the comfort of an unmade bed. Parents of teenagers feel it, children feel it sometimes when they don't see their parents for a whole night and they wake up the next day too late to find them home, all that's left is the bed. If its still sterile and cold that's how you feel caught in the midst of a fear that flashes for a second before you write it off with half-hearted lies and full-souled burying of the possibility of a truth you can't bear to imagine right then. But if it's unmade it's like they are there, there is something of them a real thing to hold on to,you know they came by and that makes anyone feel better. So I like unmade beds, homes by definition are disorderly and lived in.

I have never made my bed, a mixture of laziness and not seeing the point of making something that's just going to spoil as soon as I use it. I prefer to leave the duvet in a mound and when I feel like using it just slip into the warmth, sleep, wake up and repeat. People make all sorts of arguments about it, how it makes the room look, but I don't mind my room looking like that, and some people can't sleep in an unmade bed because of a latent OCD disorder but sleep finds me everywhere, it stalks me like a panther, hiding in the darkness of a night out or a matatu ride, waiting for me to let my guard down so it can claim me for itself, I don't have a problem with finding sleep. I could seep on a floor, so an unmade bed doesn't give much of a challenge to me.

Last Christmas we had an annual family gathering and I was lambasted about the fact. I was ganged up on by an assortment of aunts and uncles who believed that my insistence on not making my bed would be the reason for my eventual fall. They gave all kind of real world applications for making my bed. My aunt told me about this workmate of her's who wouldn't share a workspace with her, his immaturity she seemed to say stretched to the fact that he didn't make his be or another similarly immature dereliction of duties. I didn't understand that either, but she said it was about basic human decency that I was missing by not making my bed. After about 30 minutes of this I decided to make my bed, I hadn't seen their point by a long shot. But I felt that they were older probably wiser and maybe they knew what they were talking about. Mostly they seeded so passionate about it and I was just apathetic. Let them win because they really want to and either way my life blows on. I resolved to make my bed beginning on December 26th.

I still took the decidedly lazy way out, I would just drape the duvet over the edges of the bed, it would look neat and be easy to get into at night, no need to unfold anything. I was once told that it takes about 3 weeks for a habit to form so I knew I would put in 3 weeks of forcing myself to remember then it would just happen, muscle memory would kick in and make the bed for me.

And so things went for a while. I would dedicate the first few minutes of waking up to making my bed. But then I started losing out on things. I stopped reading in bed. And I love reading in bed. The alarm goes off and I don't want to get out so I just read a little till I have the energy to face the real world. But now I would get up, make the bed and watch TV or something, that's how it was.

And I just didn't like it. I was making my bed for 3 months straight every day and I still found it this tiresome bother. I had to remind myself and then resent the hell out of the act. It refused to become a habit. It didn't want to be remembered and so I forgot it all the time. Some days I would just cast off and leave and I didn't mind it. To top it off I couldn't find the holy grail I was promised. I didn't become a better person. I wasn't kinder, I wasn't more informed' I just was the same old me except I had this extra chore in the morning. A chore I didn't like and I was doing all the time. And a spread bed has no beauty to it. Just symmetry. Everything is so neat and the only beauty inherent there is that of appreciating a job well done or the anticipation of messing it up. There is too much order in that kind of thing for me.

The last straw is when I was used as an example to tell my cousin to make his bed. I was asked to extol the virtues of that thankless task. And I couldn’t, the words would get stuck in my untangled sheets and well spread duvet. They couldn’t find it in them to doom someone else to this life. So I told him not to, I told him it hadn't changed an iota of my life, I told him I wished I hadn't started and this was not the life I wanted for him, I told him I was an overly dramatic bastard(not in words but I think by then he could see that for himself.)

I couldn't face the hypocrisy. The next day I woke up and didn't make my bed. It took no time at all to get used to that habit. And now I don't make my bed again.