We’ve two queen sized beds on our RV. That might seem a little extravagant when you don’t know our nightly drill. “Keep still!” “I can’t!” “Wellgetintheotherbed!!” One bed is just kind of there at one end of the trailer and the other one is in a big drawer – a slide-out – at the other end. Once parked, you pull it out and prop it up and sleep suspended in mid-air. It’s quite cozy with the curtains drawn, reminiscent of a sleeping compartment on a train. The nightmares come before bedtime with gasps and groans, broken fingernails and much bad language as the sheets are wrestled onto the mattresses which cling tightly to the walls on three sides.
To get the idea, try it yourself. Make the exercise authentic by first pushing your bare mattress into the corner of your bedroom flush against the wall on two sides. Ideally, it should be flush against the wall on three sides but your bedroom is probably not that small. Next, flick a fitted sheet out across the mattress and quickly rap your knuckles smartly against a doorframe or other suitable unyielding surface. This will introduce an appropriate level of pain early in the process. Fling yourself belly down, appendages splayed, in an imitation of Spiderman on top of the rumpled sheet and attempt to tuck all four corners neatly and tightly under the mattress whilst you are weighing it down. Once you’ve made a poor job of that, rip a fingernail off and repeat the above process with the top sheet. If you can’t bear to rip the fingernail right off then at least bend it backwards until it hurts. At any point, if you feel the need for a break to catch your breath, you may stop and stuff the pillows into the pillowcases.
Now imagine there is a bunk bed 18 inches above the bed you’ve been fighting with so when you finish with the pillowcases crack the back of your head on the conveniently placed previously used doorframe to disorient yourself before continuing any further.
Next, shake a blanket out over the mess you’ve made so far and smack a knuckle on the other hand (not the one that is already throbbing) on a sharpish object, like the edge of a door, drawing just enough blood to leave a tell tale victory trail on your blanket when you tuck it under the bottom edge of the mattress. You may not be as fortunate as us to have ivory colored blankets to give a good contrast to the blood which will display your pluck.
If you are tempted to cheat and just shake the layers of bedding out, each smoothly on top of the other without tucking and battering of head and hands, you will wake up mummified at some point between 2 am and 5 am when bed making is even less appealing than when you first attempted it. Seems difficult to imagine that the process could be any less appealing when you are already gasping, sweating, hurting, bleeding and swearing but it is actually true.
You could just sleep in a sleeping bag for years. I couldn’t.