The unmade bed tells a story, although I’m never sure whether it’s a coming-of-age story, a mystery, a thriller, or a book of rumpled poetry. Pillows askew, sometimes huddling on the floor, does the damned thing wait for someone to return, or is it basking in being alone for the last few minutes of restful silence before everyone wakes? There’s something deeply mysterious about the way the sheets create crags and valleys, about the press of blankets.
It seems almost a shame to tug the sheet across its mate, to straighten the coverlet, to replace the pillow. I make the bed and I untell a story, words wrapping themselves into themselves and sliding into the tiny spaces between sheet and sheet, between pillow and pillow, between blanket and bedspread. Hospital corners hold the sheets in place, hold the words in place. “If I can’t bounce a dime on that bed, you’ll have to do it over” – but what about the whispered romances? Can’t I just sit and listen for a moment? Maybe I can catch a bit of the story…an overheard gasp or a just a bit too-loud moan. Or maybe someone kicking; was it too hot or were they dreaming of running? Running to or running from?
It doesn’t matter if the story has no ending. Better it be told, though, than go unnoticed.