Since flocking my East Coast nest three years ago, I’ve felt like something of a wanderer. A vagabond. Beyond my lack of a stable home or a “big boy job,” one particular element of my westward move has lent to such a wandering feeling.
It’s been my consistent lack of a bed.
Think about it: beyond a car, beyond a job, beyond even a house itself, what makes you feel grounded? You come home after a long day at school or work or multiple coffee shop escapades, and you put down your backpack briefcase purse, and after some dinner or TV or fireside reading, what do you do?
You plop down into your bed and you stay there until the sun returns to your hemisphere.
When I first moved to California in 2010, I started out sleeping on an air mattress. I didn’t mind. It was a heavy-duty air mattress, and with limited savings and no job, why would I drop any amount of money on an actual mattress?
After a few faux-mattress months, a housemate connected me with a friend’s lovely cot, and that became my “real” mattress for the next year and a half. My first real bed just kinda happened without my having to do anything or, more vitally, pay anything.
After my second summer camp excursion, I returned to California last fall once again mattress-less. Even my once reliable air mattress had succumbed to one of those pesky holes you just cannot find no matter how hard you look.
When I was living with the African mask-and-lemon married couple (I should blog about them more someday…), they graciously let me sleep on one of their heavy-duty air mattresses for 3 months.
Then when I moved again this January, my bedroom already had an unused mattress that I, then, went ahead and used.
Even when I moved to my current residence this summer (yes, 3 moves in 8 months), one of the guys had a spare mattress / bed-frame which I’d been sleeping on the last 3 months. But with his recent moving away, I lost yet another mattress.
But oh how the Lord provides. Once again, out of nowhere, I gained yet another mattress — albeit a mattress requiring a bit more work than all the others.
When I found out I’d be losing my (former) beloved bed, hardly 24 hours passed before I innocently mentioned this to a friend who then told me her old mattress was just sitting at her old apartment, unused.
I marveled that God would once again provide me a bed to lay my head without my having to spend a dime — although I did have to spend a few dimes on something else.
As a friend helped me transport that new mattress to my apartment, I realized something potentially catastrophic. To put it plainly: the mattress didn’t smell fantastic. Didn’t even smell “normal” which is the scent I would normally attach to something as innocuous as a mattress.
Hmm…how to put this more plainly?
The mattress smelled like urine. Probably because of a pissing-prone feline who dwelt in that other apartment. Just a hunch.
Upon depositing my new mattress onto my apartment balcony so as not to stink our place with cat urine, I formed two options:
1) Take tender care of this mattress, cleaning it and nursing it back to urine-free health.
2) Literally toss the mattress over our balcony into the dumpster conveniently located right below.
As dramatic and tempting and easy as option #2 would have been, I decided to go with #1. Bought and used an entire bottle of Resolve. And what a fun week of stench-removal it was.
I basically smelled like bleach for a whole week.
In the end, though, that pissy mattress turned out smelling mostly matressy again. I’d like to think the heavy scent of Resolve will fade with time, but I suppose sleeping on a mattress soaked in Resolve is better than sleeping on a mattress soaked in urine.
And so, when life gives you pissy mattresses…make the most of it. It’s not that bad. And always remember:
THE LORD PROVIDES.Wanna wander further? Follow me on Twitter and join my mailing list for a free 5-chapter excerpt of STRUGGLE CENTRAL, my first book, now available in paperback.