Grab your oxygen masks, buy a new pair of wool socks, make friends with a mule, and gird yourself for the mightiest journey. Behold the walk from my couch to my bed.
Ernest Shackleton would not ask his descendants to make the same Antarctic trip that he did. Lewis and Clark were fine leading the way for others. The torment of that thirty-three-foot trail is a burden of my own making.
I spend my afternoons and evenings on the couch. The cat likes it there. I have my book reading station all set up. Naturally, a few remote controls for the TV and DVD are right there. With a blanket and a view of the trees outside, I see no reason to move.
Except that I do not sleep as well on the couch as I do in bed. I have tried. Repeatedly.
The bed is full sized. Enough room to flop around without bonking my head on the wood frame. The couch is not as accommodating.
For one, I have diagnosed the couch as having multiple-cushion syndrome. For every cushion, there is a chasm to overcome. I become vexed by each break in the flow of padding and fabric. Right around the back and stomach area; I am sure you have faced a similar struggle. Also, most couches confine their span to six feet in length. I am six foot three. You see where the suffering begins. The couch is not wide enough to go fetal, nor is it lengthy enough to truly stretch out on. (The last couch was a Hide-a-Bed. Those have their own added bumps and quirks. Oy.)
Yet the couch has one great advantage over the bed in the next room. The bed is so far (sofa?) away.
I can travel the distance in less than fourteen steps. How does one take less than fourteen steps? Why not an even number? Well, the maneuver that is rolling off the couch and onto my feet cannot properly be judged as a “step”. Then, when I finally meet my old friend the bed, I do not walk up to it. I let my legs buckle, I aim, and gravity takes over. That last “step” is more of a tumble onto the mattress.
Halfway between the start and finish are a few impediments. Number one is the bathroom. Humanity acknowledges that the responsible thing to do before going to bed is brushing our teeth. We all signed the pact and got on board. (I think you might have been excused from the meeting. You had to get your appendix out or something? I forget, but you were missed.)
It takes an entire two minutes to brush my teeth. Two! Oh, agony! Those two minutes could be spent drooling on myself. I mull that over for a solid twenty-five minutes on the couch; dreading those two minutes. Woe!
The second errand on this unyielding excursion is the closet right next to the bathroom. That narrow and shallow space has many useful items harbored within. Among the items are toilet paper, towels, and some Christmas decorations that excel at collecting dust. And cat food. Felines and their food; right?
Now, I could simply grab a handful of food, toss it in the bowl, brush my teeth, and go flop down on the bed. Three minutes. Done. Bed, here I come. A viable option; I am sure others embrace that lifestyle and I hope their choices suit them. However, if I am going to feed that self-centered ball of fluff? I want a reward. There should be recognition of my efforts.
I sit down on the carpet, pull the cat close, and engage in scratching. The cat. Not me. I demand some sort of forehead bumping. I expect her chin to nudge up against my finger. Purring ought to be quick to arrive and slow to leave. I do not need their echo chamber to deafen me, yet I would like to hear that thrumming emanate from their torso.
Now, if you are on the carpet with a purring cat, why would you get up again? Why not succumb to your lumpish ways, curl up on your side, and simply go to sleep right there? Why travel the second half to your bed if the floor is good enough?
I can easily spend another twenty minutes with my cat. That makes the whole trip, from couch to bed, a solid forty-two-minute endeavor.
When I finally get myself to bed, it is utterly worthwhile. I have had the same comforter for years and it greets me like an old friend. I look past the holes that my last cat gifted it. The thick blanket does not complain about my feet. We have a tacit understanding and we warm to each other quickly.
When I do nod off, it is a deep sleep. A sleep as thick as cookie dough and just as sweet.
Every great adventurer must survive all their travel ordeals, the perils, and the forces of nature that threaten them. And at the end of our trip is a grand homecoming. We are worn out from the experience and want to be rewarded.
My version does not require parades, news coverage, or an adoring public. I am quite fine being welcomed by a Batman and Robin pillow.