I unfolded them one corner at a time. Stretching them out to what seemed like a mile, then setting them on my bed in a some what regretful motion. I hated putting on sheets; more accurately, I dreaded putting on sheets. Let’s just say it wasn’t a task I ever learned how to do with confidence.
I pulled my hardest to get them to fit over my mattress. All my might going into making this bed. The sheets, of course, going against their will. I hated them and I could sense that if they had a soul, they would hate me, too. They were stupid and pink; excuse me, rose, and as I sat there on my hard bed in a pile of sheets, I pondered why I had even bought those stupid rose-colored sheets in the first place.
I was so frustrated. Feeling so sorry for myself because I happened to purchase the sheets from hell. I imagined my roommate in college, her bed always so perfectly pressed. I swear she ironed her sheets right onto her bed. Why couldn’t I just get my damn sheets to look as perfect. I sat in silence with my sheets as if the maid that didn’t exist would waltz through the door and dramatically come to my rescue. Effortlessly wrapping the fitted sheet so tightly, yet perfectly, around my mattress. Laying the other sheet delicately on my bed, tucked in between my mattress and the box spring so snug. As I stared blankly at my naked bed, I knew that was not going to happen.
Out of no where, tears were streaming down my cheeks. Not the soft, ‘I’m frustrated’ tears, but thick, wet, god-awful sopping tears. I was bawling on my bed in a crumpled ball of sheets from hell. Every reason of pathetic-ness was filling my body. “What am I doing with my life?” “I’ve come so far and then I end up here?” I don’t even know where I want to go.” My dad is dead.” Yea, that one struck my bones, and pierced my heart like those ‘oh shit’ moments when you just remembered something but it was too late. Thoughts were flooding my mind from every direction, but my dad is dead and I can’t even put on these sheets from hell.
It was a breakdown moment. I had no clue where it came from but the sheets some how connected me to a feeling of despair. A feeling of just feeling sorry for myself. Is that okay? Am I aloud to just feel stupid and sorry for myself? Weep in my own sorrows in a ball of stupid sheets? Sobbing for an unknown reason, wiping my tears with empty pillow cases? I wasn’t even sure what the tears meant. I didn’t know if it was a longing cry for my father, or purely just a moment of my soul finally feeling it’s break. Finally feeling something; an emotion bigger than sadness. It was a feeling that filled some emptiness, but more importantly awoke the numbness.
Memories and images of random moments started to run in my mind like credits of a movie. So fast I could barely make out the names. They weren’t anything specific, not even necessarily of my dad, but just small moments of my life. Running with my dog, dancing with friends, dipping my toes into the lake, tossing my cap in the air at graduation, and speeding down the mountain on my snowboard. None of these things made sense at the time. I felt so confused but as the tears started to dry on my cheek, I realized all of those things had one common concept. I AM HERE. I am alive. I am in this moment. I am here, I am alive and I am with these sheets from hell.
They were wrinkled and stiff. The furthest from comfort, but I swept my feet against them at the bottom of my bed. The uncomfortable felt bearable. I closed my eyes and ran my fingertips on top of them, snickering at the rose tint. I took a deep breath and thought again, I am alive, I am here.
I rolled over, holding my pillow close against my chest, sighing in relief. Not a relief to be in my bed, but a relief from my soul. I swear it felt like a tiny hole somewhere in my heart was slowly trickling, then flooding with peace. Yes, you guessed it, my peace of derek. As I lay there, in my bed, remembering that I am alive, I am here, on my sheets from hell. I closed my eyes, feeling at peace, and I put faith in something or someone ‘up there’ that I would get a visit from my dad in my dreams that night.
I woke up smiling and at peace. Making my bed with less of an argument with my sheets this time. Today is a new day.