Sunday, July 03, 2011

All Wet

Did I have a water bed when I was a swinging bachelor-type? You bet I did. I confess that it didn't get a lot of use "that way," unless you count the times that my very swinging bachelor-type roommate seduced young women in my absence. No, mostly I slept on a water bed. From the time that I was in junior high right on through college. I was fond of extolling the virtues of flotation sleep to anyone who would listen. This was the way I kept my swinging bachelor-type fantasies at bay. It was a therapeutic choice, really, I was going to have the straightest spine of any of the swinging bachelor-types I knew.
The things I never got used to: The clammy feeling of that big bag of fluid when the heater went out. There was no rest on a water bed that was chilled to just below room temperature, even on the warmest of summer evenings. The other thing was the nearly constant ripple and flutter of air bubbles. Every week when I changed my sheets, I took a yard stick and smoothed the oxygen nodules toward the open spout at the bottom of the mattress, rising just slightly above so as not to empty the contents onto the bedroom floor. Then I would push that spout down until the faintest trickle of water dribbled out and screwed the cap back on tight, creating a vacuum. By the time I got the pillowcases on, I could already hear the sloshing.
But maybe the worst thing about having a water bed was coming home with a snootful and dropping onto that slowly undulating wave. I never got officially seasick, but there were a few nights when I wondered how I ended up on a raft in the ocean when moments before I had been at the door of my own bathroom. These were confusing times.
Now that I'm all grown up and my swinging bachelor type-days are behind me, I find that I don't miss having to add algae remover to my mattress, or having to drain the hot water heater whenever I moved. Or those bubbles.

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