Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Bed of My Own

Every since I moved into my apartment in St. Louis at the end of the summer, I have been sleeping without a bed (i.e., on the floor). I dont own a bed frame or even, a mattress. Instead, I sleep on an eggcrate mattress pad and a folded blanket or two. My reasons for this seemingly ridiculous and probably unhealthy decision have been very obvious to me and of course, pretty murky for almost everyone else, but they have been rooted almost exclusively in the desire to ultimately live more with less.

That is, I don't own a bed because I do not necessarily believe that I need one. Subsequently, I'm not entirely sure you need one, either. But that's a different story. I came to the not-a-bed decision rather easily, over the course of a several months-long deliberation and seemingly constant lack-of-funds lifestyle I enjoy living. At the end of the summer, I decided that I would return to school and move into an apartment with only what I could carry with me and what I had stored away previously. My school, in its unending generosity and graciousness, had always provided me with a bed and mattress to sleep on. When I decided to move off campus, I found myself bedless and cold. And that was when I began to question the notion of a bed being absolutely necessary to my existence.

As I began hinting at this questioning, I was met by much resistance, from almost everyone I talked to about it. It was absurd for me to NOT have a bed. Ludicrous. And not to mention, just plain inconvenient. Of course, these rhetorical struggles and nay-sayers only fueled my desire to be fussy and bedless. I became fascinated by the intense opposition I encountered. Why was everyone so against not having a bed? Was it merely tradition and habit, privileged notions of comfort, or perhaps something more innate. I wondered how deeply seeded the desire for a soft place to sleep went and if it could be overcome (and whether it was wise to attempt such a thing).

I have spent a semester sleeping on this makeshift dream vessel. The dreams experienced therein were neither pleasant nor sound. And that's part of the problem. The bed itself has been comfortable, psychologically, but taxing physically. The floor grew cold and hard. There are a few grooves in the floorboards that my body fits into quite snugly, but that thermal mass has been a bit too much with this winter weather. The floor is too hard, too cold. I naively jumped the gun. It was as if I had watched a PETA video and went straight to level five veganism, foregoing consideration of something more moderate, less rash; as often is the case, I was unwilling to find a compromise between my morals and what was physically possible.

Obviously, It's time for plan B.

Upcycle, please

Antonio Pacheco

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