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In Bed: The Mattress as Art

I’ve been spending a lot of time in bed lately—partly because I have been a little depressed; partly because I have been jet-lagged and therefore awake for every sunrise of the last four weeks; partly because all the beds I’ve found myself in lately are so big they seem to take up the entirety of the room, like a ship so large it becomes an island, and the rest of the map not worth exploring. There’s not much to do in bed, and yet you can do everything there. A bed can come to contain everything. Whenever I change my sheets, I am startled to encounter the ghost of me so deeply impressed on my mattress, where for five years I’ve only ever slept on one side. A me-size shadow of sweat, surrounded by little archipelagoes of period blood and chalky haloes of come. I can still recall a post that was popular in certain corners of sad-girl Tumblr, probably almost a decade ago; it was a photograph of a mattress, quilted and faded sateen, and spray-painted. It said PEOPLE FELL IN LOVE ON ME. Once, when an ex really missed me, he told me he wanted to send me a photo of the bloodstain I’d left on his mattress years earlier.


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