Lou’s Discount Beds recruited high schoolers enrolled in woodshop to make box spring mattresses in a repurposed two car garage turned factory the students nicknamed The Moon Room possibly because NASA invented memory foam but more likely because the set-up was so dark and dusty and scuffed it reminded them of those half assed reenactment attempts in the unfinished basements turned home studios of conspiracy theorists who somehow wanted to prove that the original moon landing was a farce and maybe actually fascist propaganda but that’s for you to decide.
I was in the market for a new mattress ever since my husband Dale passed away from Parkinson’s and I don’t believe in fate but I just so happened to be approached by and nearly befriend he was so sweet and knowledgeable 59-year-old veteran sales consultant Nicholas Plant the only non-family member of Lou the owner of Lou’s Discount Beds who then relayed to me the above information and suggested since the box springs are no good I take a peek at a mattress they just began to stock for cheap on account of a class-action lawsuit against the manufacturer that plugs into the wall and is remote operated with infrared heat and twelve localized massage nodes for increased blood flow and muscle pain relief and can also fold me up like a clam as long as I sign a Waiver of Forfeiting Liability but I told Nicholas Plant The Only Thing I Could Bother Using A Remote For Was The TV.
I may be vain but I’m still old-fashioned ha ha!
Speaking of Television I then told Nicholas Plant I was on the lookout for the same mattress featured in those product demonstration commercials where that teen girl winner of Miss Waukesha who they made a butter sculpture of her face for the County Fair I watched them carve out the nostrils through the plexiglass of their little refrigerated butter carving chamber so I could pick that nose out of a police lineup easy I know it was her she is jumping on a bed next to a full glass of wine and it doesn’t even budge talk about shock and awe marketing but it worked on me Miss Waukesha then lays on her stomach like she’s calling a boy from school on a rotary phone slides the glass between her fingers and raises it to her lips but then her Mother swoops in and snags the wine last minute for herself eyebrows raised in the facial equivalent of a finger wag leaving Miss Teen Waukesha arms crossed and grumpy but not too grumpy because the mattress adapts to your body and absorbs energy and does not transfer motion and claims to Raise The Baseline Comfort Of Your Entire Life.
It was at this exact moment Nicholas Plant asked me to confide in him my current sleeping situation and he put his hand near my rear end but just hovered there never actually touching and guided me like a pony at a petting zoo around the showroom to That Which I was Seeking and I said my current sleeping situation bucks me like a mechanical bull my mattress shakes so much when I try to get under the top sheet and to be completely honest I would love to be able to sit up without all the fuss to enjoy a guilt free glass of Wine in bed without spilling I think after taking care of Dale all those years I’ve earned that at least and Nicholas Plant kept on looking forward and said he too enjoys a glass of red wine from time to time and I said red wine it sounded like you said bed wine that’s so funny Freudian Slip kind of.
We finally got to the One I knew because there was an overhead banner of Miss Waukesha posing with her butter sculpture which must have been out in the Sun quite a while because her butter self looked like a gremlin basically what Miss Teen Waukesha would look like if she somehow reached the age of 206 and Nicholas Plant said Voila like a magician might with a little hop as if we teleported there and didn’t just walk 30 paces then said is this something you could see yourself purchasing today and I looked at the stitched on laminated price and specifications graphic with words like Shock Absorbent Resilient Wear Tested Material and remembered one of the last times I took Dale out to eat at this café his tremors were really bad he spilled tomato bisque on his cargo shorts because we stopped trusting solids long ago and his mouth was open to the side like a twisted beak and he kept going Ahh Ahh Ahh Ahh just a husk of himself back when we were going steady he’d come home late still in his police uniform badge and gun and I’d loosen him up with a Miracles record and a game of chess and after I won he’d kiss the top of my hand and say You Got Some Nerve and we’d dance a while to the music I would live inside this mattress forever if it meant the rest of my days could be so unshakeable.
Paul Rousseau is a disabled writer with work in or forthcoming from Roxane Gay’s The Audacity, Waxwing, Jellyfish Review, CRAFT, Necessary Fiction, and Wigleaf, among others. You can read his words online at Paul-Rousseau.com and follow him on Twitter @Paulwrites7.
Photography by: Piotr Makowski