I leave the bed unmade

I have a penchant for leaving the bed unmade.

They say making your bed is the right way to start your day. To that, I have things to say.

Who is this ‘they’? Who started this whole culture of manic productivity? Is this the same ‘they’ that popularized that narrow-minded phrase “pull yourself up by your bootstraps”? Because if it is, I have no interest in listening to ‘them’.

Who decided that the right way to start your day was to convert your bed from a soft, forgiving sanctuary to a neat, unapproachable rectangle that screams “we are never ever ever getting back together” (Taylor Swift voice included)?  What is this PSA to the world that tucking in corners, smoothing out surfaces, and fluffing up pillows was the right way to start your day?

Who needs that self-masochism first thing in the morning?

Is it so I feel guilty to get back in, ruining the tucked-in corners, smoothed-out surfaces, and fluffed-up pillows? Is it to invoke the same kind of guilt I feel when I start poking my fork into a beautifully arranged meal? See, I don’t need that. People are already so tucked in and beautifully arranged every day, not a hair out of place nor a trace of dirt underneath their fingernails. It’s discouraging to behold and exhausting to conform to. I am mentally sighing as I write this.

We are always so focused on industry and measurable self-improvement that it has become unforgiving of flaws and the beautiful humanity of just letting things be. Why would I make my bed? Some of the most self-restorative activities I and many other humans need take place in a bed: I sleep, read, and make love in a bed. I confide to my partner in a bed. I cry in my bed. So why, in the name of all that is good and compassionate, would I make it? Does it need to be made? Does all trace of my bodily imprint need to be swept away every morning, like a secret to be ashamed of?

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Does this image make you feel uncomfortable?

No. No, I don’t need that.

I’m going to get up, and savor every wrinkle in the sheets and every disheveled dune of fabric. I’m going to trust that when I need it again — whether it’s 12pm or 12am— it will take me back with no guilt or effort on my part, ready to take in every flawed part of me.


Daily Post prompt: Penchant

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Infinite you

This morning, I woke up, and the first thing I saw through my thicket of eyelashes was the skin on your cheeks — tan, slightly porous, little pricks of hair sticking out. You shaved the day before, but adamantly, they push through your skin and out into the air again. Your skin looked different up front; more real, more flawed, more intimate. It wasn’t at all like the skin I see on your face when I peek at you while you’re driving — there’s no dappled sunlight to wash over everything, adding a natural filter.

I love these quiet moments in the morning, when it’s just me and you in our biome of tousled sheets, the promise of life inhabiting every corner of the bed, as our toes stretch and contract, our lower backs rubbing against each other, trying to recover some semblance of the pliability they had the day before. You and I, a slow-moving forest, a couple fossils waking up from our slumber.

I look at the skin on your shoulders, smooth and brown and darkly freckled against the white sheets, like goose eggs found in the wild. The contrast is almost a shock to my eyes. I look at you, and see the miracle that occurred within your mother’s body for the nine months that she carried you; she made your long limbs and your puckered lips and your earth-colored eyes. In the soft, soundless chamber within your mother, a cell would attach to another, infinitely, to make the promise of you, the you that I saw in my bed today. I think of you, and feel the universe that aligned to bring you into my life — what a world to be alive in, the world that introduced me to you.