You be Quiet, I Decide

This is not a story about my bed, but the bed plays its part.

Our first bed was a hand-me-down, queen size waterbed. I can admit, I really liked it. Warm in the winter, cool in the summer and the waves soothed me. We tossed its crumbling frame into a dumpster at our second apartment.

The next bed was a full size given to us in our first year of marriage. Sheryl’s parents had kept it for us as we had no room for it.  The mattress must have been close to 20 years old, with springs pressing through and tiny rips in the fabric near the corners. This was our bed when I worked graveyards at UPS. We rarely spent a night together in those days and a small bed suited us fine. When I left UPS, I needed something larger.

The California King was a slightly worn (it had been dragged across a warehouse floor, scuffing the fabric and leaving a deep dirt stain on one side), as is model purchased at Granite Furniture’s friends and family sale. It filled the entire bedroom, wall to door.

Everything falls apart. Things break down.

We bought our current bed last summer. Sized down to a queen, it looks more natural in our bedroom. It is very comfortable, but after years of unlimited room, I am still figuring out how to sleep on it.

last night, after staying up watching Craig Ferguson, I slid in beside Sheryl, and tried to fall asleep. Starting on my back, arms across my chest, coffin like, I began my breathing, shutting off my thoughts.

My night-time brain had other plans.

The writing of a new story was going well. Thinking about it, I began to see how this could become something longer, interesting, funny and maybe even poignant. I began plotting chapters, scenes, events and phrases. I saw fist fights, foot chases, leaping from buildings, almost a summer blockbuster movie full of action.

Spies. Lots of spies in this story. Forgetting how this usually ends up, I let myself float along in half conscious threads, seeing where they might go. Then things began to turn. “That won’t work.” I heard my night-time brain say. Then it got vicious “You’re forgetting that you don’t know a damn thing about any of this. You think because you have seen a few movies about spies, you suddenly know enough to write a book containing spies, espionage, murder and intrigue? Look at the scene you were just pondering. Spies don’t act like that. Anyone reading this would pick it apart in seconds.”

My bed was now a lot less comfortable. I tossed three or four times, in and out of fitful thoughts. It was hot, and tossing the blanket and t-shirt aside did little to make it less so. All my cleverness collapsing around me and my night-time brain continuing to beat them down.

Defeated, I knew I was not going to sleep well. Since I am not the one who has to get up at 5 in the morning, I grabbed up a blanket and retreated to the basement to sleep on the sofa.

My dreams were nervous, more disjointed than usual. Schools of fish at my feet and water running out a hole in the side of the pool. I couldn’t save them or myself. The toast was nice.

I heard Sheryl leaving for a morning run just before 6. Up the stairs and into the bedroom I went. The softness of the mattress enveloped me and my night-time brain, certain of its victory, finally shut down.

Three hours later, the radio alarm woke me from darkness.

I love those hours of sleep, when you remember nothing, no sounds, dreams, interruptions, and you really dive into the blackness of sleep. I would take three of those hours over 8 pleasant dream filled ones any night.

I rolled out of bed, laughing. Readers? I don’t have a finished product, let alone anyone to read it. Only my night-time brain could invent not only a reader, but hordes of them who have one purpose-To hate my story.  Glossing over them, the ideas of the night before were not as clever as I thought, but they were not as ridiculous or pathetic as night-time brain made them out to be.

It might still be a great story. I am going to find out.

I looked in the mirror mounted to the dresser and smiled right into the center of my night-time brain. “Know a lot of spies then, do you?”

He had nothing to say.




About Ryan Carty

There are some who call me, Tim?

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