We now return to our regularly scheduled programming after these past few perambulatory musings.
Now, I know what you may be thinking. And I suppose you can’t be blamed: The mention of a bed frame on a blog chock full of stories about (mostly) botched hookup attempts, and you can just bet your imagination can run wild with those implications. Well, you can just let your dirty mind wander all you want, but if you’re expecting that kind of a story, let’s just say you’ll probably be disappointed.
A little bit.
Let’s go back to the beginning.
One week in February, I was playing host to Liz, a near and dear friend from grad school who was visiting New York and needed a place to crash. Jared, who I had broken up with six months prior, was only back in town that weekend. Naturally, he gave me a call. I was single, and bored, and unemployed, so I agreed to meet.
We ended up at Circle, where after prodigious imbibing in liquor, we ended up being kicked out by a huge, black, and rather angry bouncer. Somehow we managed to sneak back into the club by chilling out in the gated outdoor smoking area, then barging our way back into the club, where the bouncer promptly found us some 15 minutes later, dancing away like our lives depended on it.
“What the—?” he said, looking at us hotly. “Didn’t I just kick you two out?”
We feigned innocent looks and shook our heads, probably too sloshed to speak.
“Out! Out!” He yelled, pushing us toward the door.
We finally gave up and hopped into a cab, suddenly exhausted and rather relieved at having been ungraciously booted from the club.
The cabbie turned his chin toward us. “Where are you going?” he asked.
“XXth and Central Park West,” I immediately barked before Jared could speak.
“Your place?” Jared responded, trying to slip his arm around my waist. “Let’s go to mine.”
I shook my head vigorously as I pushed his arm off. “Nope. Gotta let Liz in.”
Undeterred, Jared replied, “Alright, then I’ll make sure you get home safe and escort you back.”
We got back to my apartment, where, to my chagrin (but not my surprise), Jared hopped off the cab with me. He followed me up to my fifth floor walk-up apartment.
I stopped at my front door and turned to look at him.
“Alright, thanks for escorting me. You can go now.”
“I have to see you inside,” he said, grinning.
I rolled my eyes, too tired to argue.
Oh, how I should have. Before I had made it three steps, Jonathan had already galloped to my bedroom. Then he threw open the door, stripped down to his boxer briefs, and greedily eyed the bed. He bent his knees like a diver…
First off, here is an image of the bed that I had been using:
Fjellse, if you don’t know, is a $50 unfinished wood bed frame (that you use with $30 unfinished wood slats) available for sale at Ikea for the lowliest of lowly in pay scale — i.e. college students, unpaid interns, the unemployed, and the otherwise inexcusably cheap. As I fell into at least four of these categories, this was the bed frame I had purchased two years in a row (once in Chicago, once in New York). Yes, you got it: It was even too crap for me to ship to a new city, so I chose to repurchase the damn thing instead, all while cursing myself for still funding Ikea’s survival.
What I hadn’t realized until I finally got the monstrosity home after first purchasing it was that the midbeam did not quite fit evenly into the overarching square format of the frame. This meant that the midbeam lay slightly diagonal across the entire frame, rather than perpendicular to the head and base boards. This also meant that the entire bed frame stood slightly askew, rather like a slanted parallelogram than a rectangle. This also meant that the slats of the bed did not fit right onto the midbeam, and prohibited me from venturing onto the left side of the bed, where I typically sleep, at all, lest I wanted to fall through the bed. I can’t omit that it was nigh impossible for me to return this absolute piece of shit bedframe as I did not own a car, Ikea is in Brooklyn, if I was cheap enough to buy a $80 unfinished wood bedframe then there was no way in hell I would spare the money on bedframe shipping, and there was no way I could carry an entire bedframe back to Brooklyn, on train and ferry.
I might add that the bed also had an unfortunate history of a prior collapse (more on this later, perhaps). But I had managed to live with my bed by never touching the left side, even to dump laundry atop, and only very carefully lying very still on the right side to snooze. I mean, desperate finances call for desperate survival maneuvers. I was also sure to inform any and all guests (not many, assuredly) that they were also not to disturb the fragile left side.
This, Jared all knew. And yet, there was no stopping him when, practically naked, he decided to nose dive right onto the left side of the bed. I heard a loud BOOM as mattress crumpled straight through the main support of the bed frame. Meanwhile, the weight and velocity of Jared’s landing combined with the now unsupported mattress cracked the entire midbeam and popped several bed slats from the flimsy plastic that carried the wooden blocks and stretched them across the length of the bed.
The sound echoed off the walls of my spacious room. Meanwhile Jared, completely satisfied with some semblance of comfort, merely grunted, rolled over onto the still somehow relatively intact right side of the bed, and hugged (read: hogged) all the covers.
I stared, mouth hanging open, at my poor, destroyed sleeping apparatus. The left side of the bed was completely sunken in, mattress drooping pathetically into the gaping hole left behind by the absence now of any intact supporting beams. I looked down at the floor to see flakes of exploded bed slats and shattered midbeam everywhere.
Right then, Liz called.
“Hey!” she trilled, “I’m here. Can you open the door?”
I ran out and buzzed Emily in through the lobby doors of the apartment building. Then I rushed back to my room and took a moment to throw a disgusted look at the unwelcome occupant in my bed.
He started snoring.
I set upon Jared
“Wake up,” I hissed viciously, slapping him rapidly on the back. “You need to go home.”
“Reargh,” Jared grunted. He didn’t so much as flinch.
Desperate, this time I grabbed his flank and started shaking his entire frame.
It was no use. Jared was there to stay for the night.
With a huge sigh, I went to the hallway and opened the front door for Liz with nothing but a sad, defeated look on my face.
“Jared’s here,” I said, wincing as I expected the worst of her judgment.
“He’s what?” she said, shuffling over to my bedroom. As soon as her eyes set on Jared, Liz stopped dead in her tracks.
“Uhh, what the hell is that.”
“I know,” I groaned, gripping my forehead and squirming uncomfortably. “He just undressed all on his own.
I gave her a quick rundown of the events leading up to his half-naked residence in my bed, leaving the two girls in the room to split a tiny, half-deflated air mattress on the cold hardwood floor.
The next morning, Jared woke up feeling well-rested and refreshed to two shivering, cranky girls suffering from mild hangovers.
Never mind he was practically naked in front of two girls he most certainly had not hooked up. Never mind he’d defenestrated all rules of chivalry. Never mind he had destroyed my bedframe.
“Whoa, I crashed here last night?” were the first, lighthearted words to escape Jared’s mouth.
“You most certainly did,” I said, rolling my eyes.
Jared rolled around contentedly in my sheets and comforter, jumped up onto the floor, and stretched — all while still half naked — before his eyes finally traveled to the destruction he had caused.
“Holy shit, did I do that?” he exclaimed.
“Again, you most certainly did,” I told him.
Adding insult to injury, Jared burst out laughing. I sighed, then headed to the bathroom to relieve myself.
Meanwhile, Liz stared at Jared. In a deadpan voice, she promptly informed him, “You’re so selfish.”
Immediately, Jared bristled. I returned to the room a minute later to find Jared doing his best to ignore Liz altogether.
Grabbing his clothes, I handed them to Jared. He put them on, and I walked him to the door.
“I can’t believe you destroyed my bedframe,” I growled on the way out to the front door. “I freaking told you not to be careful. Who goes to someone else’s room and then jumps onto their bed?!”
“Oh,” he muttered. “Sorry.” Then he seemed to mull it over. “Well, it’s your fault for making me come over.”
“Say what?” I said, circling on him.
“Hey,” he said, changing the subject in typical Jared fashion. “We should do dinner and a movie tonight.”
“Yeah, I’ll think about it,” I lied.
Jared leaned in to kiss me, which I avoided by opening the door and ushering him out.
“It’s kind of funny,” he suddenly began as he walked through the doorway.
I paused. “What is.”
“My parents always told me that to be a good guest, I should always leave a host’s home as if I’d never been there in the first place.” He chuckled. “Obviously, that didn’t happen.”
I pushed him out the door.