Sleeping in beds with people can be an awkward time. Like the first time you sleep over at your boyfriend or girlfriends house, its a hurdle you have to get over: you’re hairs a mess, you smell more than usual, and you probably farted a bunch. But once you’ve done it, its like you’ve taken a new step in the friendship.
I can’t help but be self-conscious when i sleep in beds with people. Now, I’m not talking about sex, I’m talking about living-on-the-west-side-and-its-3-am-and-there’s-3 feet-of-snow-on-the-ground-and-you-only-have-thin-converses-to-walk-home-in situations.
Like when you’re in 7th grade: you spend the night with your kinda new friend, who just happens to live on a farm out in the middle of nowhere. You wake up a million times in the night because you’re sleeping in a water bed that your friend inherited from her parents when they got a clue and realized that waterbeds suck and aren’t comfortable at all. You wake up suffocating because you’re lodged between the side of the bed, and the sack of water that’s supposed to consist of the bed. Outside, you hear the distant screaming of cows being slaughtered by your friends dad and older brother. There will be food for dinner tonight!
You wake up with bed hair. You call your mom after breakfast and she picks you up and you cry on the way home because you’re so relieved you aren’t surrounded by manure and cows and outhouses anymore.
Once you get older, sleeping in beds is a more serious matter. I think because you feel weird being a 25 year old telling ghost stories to your friend who is 4 months pregnant and is engaged to some dude from the 7th floor of her work. I’ve always encouraged acts of dismantling what we know to be a social “no” and just say yes yes yes.
A couple of summers ago, I rented out a room in this huge house on wealthy street with 4 GVSU women athletes. We had nothing in common. I told them I had a food allergy and that’s why I didn’t eat mac and cheese every day like they did. I mostly just worked on my zine and listened to the Magnetic Fields in my room. The day that I came over to look at the place, the girl who was moving out of the room was there, showing me all the different rooms and kitchen and what not. Sarah was moving to Chicago for the summer semester and didn’t want to pay for what she wasn’t using here in grand rapids,.
A couple of weeks later, I moved in. Things were going fine and relatively easy going in the house until about a month into my stay. I heard distant discussions about Sarah coming back for a weekend visit.
So the weekend came, and i was out till late Friday night. I crawled up to my room and into my bed, noticing that none of my roommates were home, probably out partying with Sarah.
I woke up at around 7 am like i always do because I have a bladder the size of a pea and have to go to the bathroom twice before i get up for real for real.
I walked down the long hallway to the bathroom that had a claw-foot tub, a shower, along with a huge closet that could fit my bed in it. Upon opening the door, i see our guest, Sarah, in a tank top, tucked up in the fetal position on the rug in the center of the bathroom. She’s kinda twitching and mumbling. I ask her if she’s ok, and she says “yes” in a quivering voice. This moment reminded me why I choose not to drink.
I obviously can’t pee, and the downstairs toilet is out of commission, so i just crawl back into bed.
About 3 minutes later, my door bursts open. Sarah walks in and slams it shut behind her, and immediately jumps in my bed and crawls under the blankets with me. This is awkward. Who is this girl. I can see her thong sticking out of her trampy jeans and the dried puke crusties in the corners of her mouth. Her face is 6 inches away from mine, sharing MY pillow with me.
I scootch over a little bit, y’ know, giving her some room, and stare at the ceiling. It’s strange, but given the current circumstances, I really don’t want to get up right now because the bed is warm and i like being in my room and all my stuffs in here and maybe if i knew how to work the remote on the TV i would go downstairs, but i don’t. I lay in bed for 20 minutes or so, trying to get to sleep, unsuccessfully in the end.
I get up and take a shower and decide to walk very slowly to work. Thankfully i had the morning shift, so i could’ve only been able to sleep for an hour and a half more if there wasn’t any interruption.
I’m groggy all day, but kind of intregued of what will happen with my roommates when i get home from work at 2.
I walk home. I get in the door and one of my roommates comes up to me: “Oh my gosh, karen. Sarah had to leave early, but she is SOOO SORRY ABOUT LAST NIGHT! She is so embarrassed!”
I brush it off like it’s nothing, but make a mental note to get some sort of lock for my door.