The approaching Solstice brings to mind my ritual of turning the
sheets on my bed. I do this annually, whether they need it or
not, and it's a bit of a trauma, given that I *don't like change*!
Doing it on the Solstice, though, generally guarantees weather
fine enough to do this with the windows wide open...
It's an involved undertaking: the first step is careful removal
of the horse-blanket under which I (and too-few others) have
slept for more than half a century. The blanket itself is well
over a hundred years old, and while heavy when new, it seems to
have grown even heavier over the years. Thirty years ago I took
it to a cleaners: the clerk fled in terror, and the prissy
manager told me he would not even "conssssidder" sullying his
precious perchlor with it.
The weight of this blanket makes the bedclothes cling tightly to
my manly form, so the place where I spend a third of my life is
all cozy and warm. Farts take *hours* to work their way out from
under it. The surface is now a veritable <schmutzdecke> of cat
hairs, dead fleas, some dirt I suppose, hair-balls and horked-up
Friskies. It is necessary to remove the this blanket carefully
to preserve all this intact. Otherwise, the cats may abandon me;
as they are the only thing I can get to sleep with me any more,
that just wouldn't do. So, I'll fold it twice and gentlyplace it
on the floor.
I will now have access to the thermal blanket underneath. This
one is comparatively new, modern textiles having none of the
longevity of mohair. So, this one is also comparatively clean,
except for the head-end with what little is left of its dainty
satin-lace binding. This stuff seems to be soluble in spittle, so
it is now cemented to the blanket, the thread that originally
held it having disintegrated long ago. I will turn this blanket
around as well, if I can successfully part it from the sheet
below. It is this parting that will take some while: the blanket
and the top-sheet cling tightly in spots. A dull putty-knife
works nicely, though the fabric tends to unravel if I am not
diligent. Once pried loose, I will stand the thermal blanket on
end against the wall.
The top sheet will be removed next. Before the advent of fitted
sheets, we used to swap the top and bottom at each change. Since
this is no longer possible, this top-sheet is in reasonably good
condition, still having some traces of its original blue color.
The discoloration is mostly from body-oils and the drenching it
got the last time I had a fever. Its up-side is dark in the
center, and inspection of the down-side reveals many skid-marks
where I scratch my ass while asleep. I will lift this sheet and
carry it, as a waiter carries a tray, and put it on the dining-
room table. On the fitted sheet below I'll find the collection of
body hairs, toe-jam and dead skin flakes accumulated over the
year at the bottom of the bed. [Once years ago I found a pair of
briefs and a used rubber there, but I don't expect to be so lucky
Down to the nitty-gritty! The fitted sheet will command the most
effort. [This set of sheets is only 9 years old, having been
bought on sale when Value-Giant was still Value-Giant: it is
Giant-Value now; but I digress]. The previous set had lasted only
8 years; the bottom sheet broke in half when I attempted to fold
it. So now I have a better plan of attack.
In the first step, I'll peel back the fitted portion all around.
This will be relatively easy, except for the top corner where the
vomit from my attack of flu 6 months ago has cemented the sheet
to the mattress-pad. This may take some effort with the putty-
knife. Access gained, the next step will be to insert a long thin
strip of wood between the sheet and pad, and carefully work it
back and forth from one end of the bed to the other. This is
fairly easy at the foot, but becomes progressively more tricky as
I work my way up towards the head. Slightly below the midpoint,
I'll encounter an area saturated with jizz and other penile
leakage, not to mention the *large* areas where my urinal has
overflowed. A few black spots attest to the health of my 'roids.
The cum stains are mostly mine - there's even the results of some
wet-dreams, but these are rare - and some are souvenirs from the
few tricks I've had over the years. [I'm not such a bad fellow,
and give really *good* hand-jobs, so I can't understand why I
only have one-night-stands; but that's another issue altogether].
I'll have to be *really* careful that the sheet is parted neatly
from the mattress pad, since if any bits of the pad stay with the
sheet, they'll give rise to uncomfortable lumps when I turn the
sheet around. So, this gentle prying and parting continues.
Towards the head end I'll encounter the area saturated with
drool, studded here and there with booggers I seem to expel while
asleep, though the extreme edges give way to long snot-smears
generated when I wipe when awake. The darker stains here
evidently go back to a spell of bleeding gums.
When all is ready, I'll slide a sheet of 1/8th-inch mahogany
plywood under the bottom sheet, lift it up, walk around the bed,
and place it back in position with what had been the foot-end up
at the head and <vice versa>. I'll slide out the plywood and stow
it under the bed for next year. [You may wonder why I don't plan
to *also* reverse the mattress-pad: the reason is this pad dates
back to 1943, and post-war quality was so poor that I'm pretty
sure I couldn't save it from destruction if I tried to shift it.
Since it's intact, there's no point in replacing it anyway.
Reversing the mattress is also ill-advised: the contours would no
longer conform to my lumpy body, so my nightly beauty-rest would
be fitful at best].
With the sheet successfully reversed, I'll have only to re-fit
it. The elastic has probably turned to goo, so I have some 10d
nails handy to secure it to the mattress - or to the bed-frame:
whatever works! Then the top-sheet will go back on, with care not
to disturb the detritus mentioned earlier. This is part of the
trauma: the bed will tend to be a bit "itchy" until the stuff
either migrates back down to the bottom, or gets carried out each
morning on my sweaty bod. The thermal blanket will go back on
next. To prevent it coming loose at the bottom, I'll just spritz
the end of it with water, which softens the spittle enough to
allow a neat hospital fold. When it dries, it's like card-board,
so it will not come loose until next year. Lastly, I'll replace
the horse-blanket tenderly. [I fully expect my moldering body
will be found under this when my time comes, so I takegreat care
in its preservation].
Meanwhile, I'll have given the pillow-cases their weekly wash,
and run the pillows themselves through the dryer (on air-only)
with a healthy dollop of Mounty[tm], so they will be fresh and
sweet-smelling when I go to bed next. I just can't *stand*
stinky, messy pillows.
Bruce Bramson 1996