I live a rich life.
Take, for example, my queen-sized mattress and box spring.
In fact, you may actually take them, as they are now balanced against the garage.
Kurt grins. “You have to open it.”
I tear at the suspiciously flat gift. Inside is a bright blue folder. I grin back. “You got me homework?”
Inside the folder, however, are two sheets of paper. “Please take,” says the first. “Queen-sized mattress.” “Please take,” says the second. “Queen-sized box spring.”
I look from the sheets to him, back to the sheets, back to him. I narrow my eyes. “Heeeey, what’s the big deal?”
“You need a new bed,” he says.
And so over the holiday break, we went mattress shopping. Frankly, if there is anything nicer than a brand new bed, I don’t think my heart could take it.
The old ones have leaned against the couch in my library since then, a stately addition to a room chockfull of books, seating, and, here and there, the forgotten and crumpled paper airplanes from a Christmas party run amok. They leaned until yesterday, that is, when Kurt helped me move them into the alley, signs attached, to await Tuesday morning’s garbage men.
The library seems so much bigger now.
Tuesday after work, however, I get a text from Willie – my ex and, oddly enough, next-door neighbor. “Recycling is next week. Did they take your mattresses?”
I pull on my boots, hat, scarf, mittens, and coat, trudge back to the alley.
And there they are, looking for all the world like things that will, during the course of the week, fall into the paths of cars, causing neighbors to look askance in my direction, perhaps pass judgment on my housekeeping abilities.
I contact Sally, currently renting my garage, to explain the situation. Can I move them inside, away from prying eyes and passing cars? Can I leave them there until next Monday night?
Of course, she says.
I pull them into the garage one at a time, straining, heaving. When did they stop putting handles on mattresses? I shake a trembling fist in the direction of Big Mattress, no doubt in cahoots with Big Chiro.
Back in the house, I remove the many layers of clothing required to keep my flesh from freezing and throw myself on the couch.
But it won’t leave me be. It’s not right, is it? She rents the garage. It’s her garage. What if both cars won’t fit now?
Sighing, I re-dress, clomp back out, where I pull the heavy, ridiculous things outside once again. Sweating, grunting in the demure manner of a woman at the end of a day, and, possibly, a rope of some kind, I maneuver them against the garage, lawn-side this time, where they lean, ice cold and, somehow, triumphant.
It is the dead of winter. I have mattresses in my backyard, pressed against a cinder block garage.
Who has more fun, huh?