Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sleeping in a Hammock - part 1

More than a month ago, my brother thought it would be a good idea to set up a bedroom for our father on the 1st floor of his house so he didn't have to walk up and down stairs to get to bed. I told him if he wanted it, I'd donate my bed to him--it's the same size as the one he's used to sleeping in, a full. Randy asked what I would sleep in; I told him I'd figure something out. 

I never liked my bed, so it was easy to let it go. When I tore down the linens, I realized my linens took up nearly as much cubic footage as the mattress and spring box. I had:
  2 European square pillows
  8 regular pillows, four of them feather/down
  1 feather bed
  Linen (not cotton) duvet cover for feather bed on which I would like
  2 linen pillow cases on which my head would like
  1 linen flat sheet which would cover me
  1 cotton blanket
  1 down comforter
  1 cotton decorative cover for the comforter
  1 bed skirt
  1 fitted sheet for the mattress
  6 cotton pillowcases

For those of you who don't know, a feather bed is essentially a really big, mattress-sized feather pillow that sits on top of the mattress. Mattress companies now make padded tops to add this comfort component for users. This is why you have to pay more for deep-pocket sheets fitted sheets. Linen (flax) sheets cost about 4x more than cotton sheets BTW. My mom had taught us that the components of a well-made bed were a fitted sheet, a flat sheet, a blanket, a comforter (shed in hot months), a pillow in a pillowcase, and a bedspread. When I married, my ex-wife modified things to her standard, but it was not much different. How far had I strayed!

I won't bore you with all the details (yes, you're already bored, I know--but I take heart in the fact that you've already stopped reading... ), but every detail listed is an equivocation to the fact that I don't sleep well on a regular flat bed--breathing becomes labored, suffer from dust allergies, I sleep hot so materials that wick away body moisture are better, yada yada yada ...

I slept on my living-room "futon" couch (what we call a futon is NOT what the Japanese sleep in folks, theirs is more like a sleeping bag that they spread on the floor) the next few days in the traditional flat-with-pillow position--it was awful. And then the hammock and compact stand that I ordered from Amazon arrived. It's just a 9-foot sling of heavy cotton--it is NOT the kind of hammock you see suburban American dads using in sitcoms (the sort with spreader bars which always end with the sight gag of dumping the sleeper onto the ground).

After I set it up, it was just a slip of cloth, bunched up, not looking much thicker than my arm, suspended between two metal bars--a mere wisp compared to the mountain nest of textiles, feathers, wood frames, and metal springs I had climbed into every night before. It did NOT look promising ...

To be continued.

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