Choices and Consequences

Location: Absence Aerie, Night Two

Absence Aerie Feb 2016 5

Bed remotes. Holy crap.

Choices and consequences.

The bed here at Absence Aerie is a technological marvel of options meant to offer the perfectly personally preferred sleep experience; all I have to do is find my nocturnal-nirvana using the two remote controls pictured.

I am able to raise my head or my feet or both, or, if finding the arrangement of the two just right for me is too intimidating, there are three pre-set options from which to choose. Once I’ve found my ideal alignment, I can set in motion a massage: thumping or waves or vibrations (Oh my!) in bottom to top or top to bottom direction. All of which one is advised (by me, there was no instruction manual nor helpful note left behind) to do ONLY after one has determined at which firmness setting one wishes the mattress.

At first, I was excited. Then, excited and scared. (Ten points if you know from which musical I’m cadging.) My first night, Friday, punching buttons and making an amusement park ride of bedtime (which seems only fair as I was supposed to have my first date in decades this weekend, right?) was a little like an episode of Laverne & Shirley, or, well, in my case,  Laverne & Nobody Else as Usual,  during which I frightened the animals and nearly folded myself in half. This old body has trouble enough getting used to a new mattress, it always takes a day or two, and so I suppose I should not have been surprised when I wakened Saturday morning in fairly severe pain and almost unable to walk and I am not kidding – I seriously thought I had dislocated my hips or spine. (Again, seems sort of apt as I was supposed to have my first date in decades this weekend and a little dislocation of hips and spine would not have been unwelcome.) Thus, last night, I knew I needed to try new settings.

And when I went to bed (at 9:30, again alone and again, not kidding, how did I get so old?) I was irritated.

I don’t want all these choices.

I mean, yes, it’s kind of delightful to be able to raise the upper half of the mattress so I’m propped up to read, but, uhm, I’ve been propping myself up with pillows for over five decades with very little effort, why does it need to be mechanized? And, surely, a fellow like me whose rear windshield wipers have not functioned properly since I bought my car, whose phones explode with a regularity to which Ex-Lax abusers can only aspire, whose mere presence in a home seems to doom the plumbing to bursting and clogging, well, I am made to be Luddite and the mechanization of a bed will, in my case, certainly lead to its eventual breakdown — who do you call when your bed gets stuck in the upright position? This is one more thing about which I neither want to nor can afford to worry.

Choices have consequences, people. This drive to mechanize and automate things perfectly easy to do without motors and computer chip, it’s a trap and a slippery slope. Don’t get me wrong, I love my phone and my laptop. I worship access to WiFi. I don’t want to launder my clothes on a rock in a stream. But, I also don’t want to expand the list of things in my life needing to be plugged in or batteried or tended to by those with a skill-set I will never have.

If I pay someone to do something involving a bed and positions within or on it, it ain’t gonna be a FlexFit technician – unless he’s twenty-ish with a screwdriver of generous proportion and protective covering.

Choices, people. They come (if you’re lucky) with consequences. And, no surprise here, last night I chose Firmness at one hundred per cent and mattress flat, completely horizontal, feet and head on a flat plane because I wanted to be able to say this:

For six hours, at least, because of the choices he made, the consequence was, Charlie was on an even keel.

Love and Light, kids. Love and Light.

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