Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sleeping on the Floor

My last year of high school, I got tired of sleeping on a bed.  I gave my bed to my sister as it was one of a pair of bunk beds and I began sleeping on the floor.  I had a couple blankets and a pillow.  Around me were books and an old cassette player I'd bought from a friend for $10.

My room was all I had for a haven.  Most of the time, if I wasn't at school, I was in that room, reading and listening to music.  My love of Kitaro started there, as did my love of Depeche Mode.

In fact, I loved Depeche Mode so much that I smuggled the liner notes from the Violator album into boot camp, but that is another story.

I read countless books, mostly science fiction and fantasy.  I read Ender's Game overnight without sleeping, nearly missing school the next day.

I even hid there from my family.

As a child, I had been a Trekie.  I used to watch reruns of the original Star Trek with my parents.  I watched Star Trek the Next Generation as the episodes originally aired.  I had the hots for Tasha Yar, and then, they killed her off.  That was pretty much when I stopped watching.

My family continued to watch Star Trek, every available episode.  I grew apart from the shows and the universe.  This was just one example of my family's obsessions that I did not enjoy, like when they watched Beetlejuice 8 times in a row on one weekend.  It was over a decade before I could appreciate that movie again.

One day, my father took offense that I hid from the family in my room.  I remember being ordered to "watch television with the family."  By then, I never watched television and almost universally disliked everything on it.  Needless to say, watching television with my family did not qualify as family time for me.

Eventually, I joined the Navy and left home.  I slept in beds like normal people, but every once in a while, I would find a reason to sleep on the floor, piles of clothes on the bed, discomfort in a hotel, whatever.

Now, decades later, I am a divorcee.  I live alone in an apartment.  For months after I moved in, I slept on the floor.  Because a house guest was coming, I bought a shikifuton.  This is the top layer of the Japanese sleep system, a simple 4" cotton stuffed pad.  Today, my shikifuton is the closest I come to a bed.  It is heaven compared to sleeping on the carpet, but it has compressed to probably 2".  Once again, I find myself basically sleeping on the floor.

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