Bed, Backache and Beyond

Let's play Before and After shots.

Here's my bed before:

I lie. That's not my bed … at all.

One, you wouldn't find me with a quilt with white as the dominant color. Two, matching pillowcases?! Gag me with Martha Stewart style. And dust ruffles, absolutely no way.

The fashion assault on my own sensibilities alone would have me tossin' and turnin'. I'd go sleep in a motel.

And that headboard? Not a fan of headboards unless they're super-cool and this one isn't. And what about that lamp? How American blah can you get?!

That object above the bed intrigues, however. That I'll leave to your imagination.

Point is, my bed used to look like this … in that it lay laterally.

Here's my bed now:

Unless I'm in gravity boots hanging from the ceiling — I'm not — this does not provide a restful sleep.

On second thought, it offers a better rest this direction than it did before

I was awakened yesterday morning at 1:30 with a searing and paralyzing back pain, in the lumbar region, the location of historical scars, weakness and treatments.

I could not move. Rather, I could, but only slowly. My back was in a spasmatic lockdown. Each move was met with the sensation of a branding iron applied to the nerves

I recognized the culprit immediately. The mattress. It's from the Goodwill. It was cheap and clean and new. I needed a bed badly at the time. But there's no overlooking the adage: You get what you pay for.

I've been sleeping on this thing for about a year. Longtime readers will "recognize" it as the mattress I used to toss onto the office floor every night when I was living with Blue-Bathrobe Man. It's never been the best sleep because it's soft but it's been better than no sleep and the hallucinations that follow.

Until last night. I guess either the bed gave or — more likely — my back, in a kind of accumulative response to no back support for a year. In the darkest hour I inched my way out of bed with gritted teeth, trying to stretch the spasms out and stripping the bed in order to turn and flip the mattress.

Or is that flip it off?

I've been flipping this damn thing at least once a month since I bought it. If that tells you anything. I was able to do it because thanks to its cheapness it's also very light.

I shot down a coupla Ibuprofens with some gulps of whiskey and went back to "sleep." Awoke of course in pain, which made for a slow-mo day at work, where I managed the suffering with aspirins and a low-grade presence of red wine.

Turned to craigslist where lo and behold the angels must've been watching over me and my back! There was a guy selling his futon and frame for an affordable price. Frankly, since my life in Japan, I've preferred futon; not a big fan of the Western-style beds.

Checked it out after work. Nice and firm. No funky stains and odors. And with a roommate's help brought it into the room. And stuck the mattress where it belongs — for now. Against the wall, instead of under my back.

There's a woman on craigslist who's in urgent need of a bed because the one her young daughter's been sleeping on has to go back to its owner today. So it may all work out well for all.

You know what they say: One good turn deserves another.

Just make mine on a firm futon, please.

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