I would like to talk about mattresses. Mattresses are our friends for many reasons, not the least of which involves the comfort they provide us for sleeping.
Sleeping is very important. For one thing, sleeping gives you a break from working, doing laundry, raking leaves, putting away groceries, listening to voicemails, and breathing.
Wait, no, not breathing. That’s very important. If you don’t breathe you will die. So sleeping makes you not die. Well, actually, that was going to be my next point.
What were we talking about?
Oh yes, mattresses. Well, anyway, like I was saying, mattresses are good for other things besides sleeping. Although if you can get a good night’s rest fairly often, it will in fact keep you from sickening and dying earlier than later. Unless of course you are run over by an 18-wheeler, or a pride of rabid lions, or a herd of raging wildebeests.
Yes, so, other than providing what we have clearly seen to be lumbar-support that is none other than vitally imperative for the continuation of our species, mattresses are good as vehicles. When my brother and sister and I were still children, my dad would bring home all manner of random things that had been discarded at the resort where he was employed. I specifically remember a shovel, those cotton-weave blankets that we referred to as “hospital blankets” until we were far too old not to have known that “hospital blanket” was not their proper designation, and The Mattresses.
Really, these mattresses were not especially designed for lumbar support as much as they were designed not to ever, ever, let your back feel like it was on the floor. Stuffed with padding. Dense, such that I have actually slept on cement that was more forgiving. And they were clearly meant for rough usage, because they were encased in such thick, child-retardant plastic casings that they could most likely have been used as life rafts in the event that the river adjoining the resort ever flooded. In any case, I see clearly as an adult that the things would likely have lasted until the Last Judgment had it not been for the imagination of childhood. One day it occurred to us, brilliantly, that the unusually narrow proportions of these mattresses, and their slippery plastic casings, made them the perfect vehicles for sliding down the stairs.
I would have tried to make that setup more dramatic, but if you’ve ever known children you will not find the idea of them riding mattresses down staircases surprising. It was wonderful and fast and exhilarating.
My mother, however and despite her acquaintance with us, her children, managed to be surprised. I believe her reaction went something like this: “WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING?!?!” Ah, but we soon had her broken in. By the time summer came around and we dragged that thing out to the pool deck to make a slide, she hardly noticed.
Anyway, mattresses are also good for exercise. In my college years my grandmother, who I credit with six-elevenths of my housecleaning-training (my mother gets the other five-elevenths), bragged that I was the only one with the magic ability to single-handedly turn, lift, and flip her queen-size mattress for its seasonal rotation. I credit my unique abilities to youthful pride and strength, as well as the fact that my job at the time, although technically that of a cleaning lady, frequently involved moving furniture and would more accurately have been labeled a cleaning-lady-personal-assistant-housekeeper-jack-of-all-trades-SUPER-furniture-mover job. Anyway, I was tough.
I though about this, and about mattresses, today, as I single-handedly turned, lifted, and flipped our king-size mattress (I also took out the air conditioner—you can’t always wait for a man to be around if you’re on a roll). I thought about them some more while I wrestled the queen-size sheets onto the king-size mattress, mentally picturing the day the fabric will finally rend with a sickening tear and send me violently catapulting, backwards into the wall. I thought about how mattresses are good fodder for writing silly blogs.