Sunday, April 4, 2010

Just Like Camp

If you know me then you know that obviously I have never been to camp. (Well, technically I went, but I was that kid. Yup. the one who got to make the call home and scream 'Are you kidding me? Pick me up!') I'm not sure I even liked grass that much. Let's just say it's no accident I happen to live in a city borne of cement; there is nothing worse than the feeling of your heels sinking into wet soil. Or a surprise visitor in the middle of the night who you would like very much to kill, but don't for fear of missing and having it fly in your face or scurry across your feet.  It's always been man over nature for me. I still get a rush of excitement when I read the description of Howard Roark in the opening pages of The Fountainhead

"He looked at the granite. To be cut, he thought, and made into walls. He looked at a tree. To be split and made into rafters. He looked at a streak of rust on the stone and thought of iron ore under the ground. To be melted and to emerge as girders against the sky. These rocks, he thought, are here for me; waiting for the drill, the dynamite and my voice; waiting to be split, ripped, pounded, reborn; waiting for the shape my hands will give them."

Where are the real life Howard Roarks I wonder? Bono answered my question best here. I seem to digress, but this is no tangent. Okay, maybe a little bit, but there's wonder to be found in details. I love telling stories - but I absolutely love hearing stories. And that's how a story about a mattress includes a title referencing camp, and a quote from an Ayn Rand novel. The seemingly incongruous aren't always so far removed. How your mind connects the dots of its experience is a wonder I now take the time to marvel at. 

Back to bedding.

One thing was certain. There was not going to be any awakening if I couldn't sleep.  I looked across the empty apartment and could tell that even Harold had not had the most comfortable night.  He was looking a little lost, really.

'Hey Harold,' I asked, suddenly overcome with inspiration.  'Hey do you want to come with me to Sleepy's and get a bed?'

Harold is a fan of anything store bought.  We have always agreed on this point - calling that 1-800 number and hearing that cursed Sleepy's jingle that I won't even torture you with, but know is playing in your head right now would ordinarily have been my style.  But all of a sudden I had an overwhelming desire to physically go to Sleepy's. Lie down on every mattress. Drive the sales guy to his breaking point. In this new life, I was going to play an active role in every decision I made. I wanted everything that came through the doors to be hand-selected by me. And a story that came with it. Sometimes the shortcut deprives the pleasure of a possible memory. Just because you can call something in, or order it online, doesn't mean you should. Believe me, there were never two more entertained individuals than Harold and I at Sleepy's that afternoon.  We tested everything out. . .

. . .and ultimately settled on the softest one possible.  A metal frame, the box spring and the mattress were delivered later that afternoon and I snapped pictures with all the enthusiasm one would have if one had been without bed for a week and slept on a pile of clothes. 

I had to do a Bed Bath & Beyond run next, but I didn't go there first. Harold and I strolled over to Central Park instead because it was unseasonably warm and I was in the mood. Follow my whimsy. Pick every item I would own by myself. I was developing a new set of rules and that realization alone was a monumental discovery.

I think my 20s had me so preoccupied I never sat down long enough to think about how I might be changing and what my likes and dislikes were. . . I was going on some pre-conceived idea that may have been formed in my early teenage years. Maybe what we refer to as a mid-life crisis is actually a metamorphoses. A necessary shedding. Not a breakup, or a separation, or a divorce, but a necessary release to begin again, go back to A. Perhaps all goodbyes should be done gracefully, and with quiet acceptance. Celebrated, even, for our constantly evolving selves.  

Central Park has just the right amount of cement to grass ratio to please Harold and my different tastes. . . But I was wearing sneakers and jeans, and decided to sit on the grass near a blissed out Harold anyways and read for awhile under a tree. 

Has grass always been so lovely? 


Anonymous said...

Rocky and I are enjoying your's and Harold's new blog! Sorry about all the troubles you faced but I'm glad to see you have emerged healthy in mind. Maybe another book from you is on the horizon? I can only hope.
XO-K & Rocky

Millie@PassionDecor said...

every post is great story. you're one brave and positive woman

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