Saturday, May 30, 2009

TIGHT TAUT SHEETS

How can I be so messy, when all I want is order?

I remember the days when I couldn't fall asleep without smoothing the bed sheets, tucking in the edges military nurse style. Triangular corners (same as when you wrap a birthday present), folding the edge of the left side into a triangle, then the other edge in, so the triangles make a perfect, flawless corner which tucks in smoothly, and disappears.

And the edge of the sheet, the comforter (we called it that in winter) ... it was so wonderfully, exquisitely comforting when folded in on itself -- three inches -- making a three inch neat, perfect border like a picture frame.

Did I want to sleep in a picture frame?

My toes were pointed. Turned-out. At an early age, I started practicing my toes being pointed and turned-out so that "pointed, turned-out" would became a life-long habit, a happily forever-ever-after habit.

My arms, straight, solider straight at my sides, palms down. Oh, maybe once in awhile I'd fold my hands, and holding my hands went to sleep with my head straight back. It had to be straight, in the center of the puffed-up pillow. With the pillow case smoothed by my hand -- a hand, like an iron, can iron away all the wrinkles.

Who am I? What have I become, that I no longer care about ironed sheets? I pull, yank, twist, kick sheet and blanket up so the edge will fall in around my cold feet, which I don't point, or turn out. I just let them lay wherever they land.

How, when did I change? Was it a little fold here, a sloppy edge there, a gradual weariness which allowed me to close my eyes and not see or feel the unsymmetrical cover covering me so haphazardly? Don't I care? Have I stopped caring?

Or do I still care, but let things fall where they will because I don't have time anymore -- at my age and stage in life, I can't afford to take the time to sleep in a flawlessly smooth, neat, perfect, symmetrical cocoon?

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