Saturday, September 27, 2014

Sleep, Domesticity, Present Participles 'n Stuff

This is a post found hiding in the Draft Pile... and every crackerjack editor on site is scratching his head, as there's no discernible reason for it to be lurking in the stacks.  It's not great.  It's not terrible. Some of it makes me laugh, but the jokes are for insiders.  Some of you ARE insiders, so there, that's justification enough to let it see the light of day. From textual archaeology, I am dating its origin as May 2011, give or take a decade.

Photo of the Hejrl Hede "Living Museum"

Good morning, and I really mean that!

Okay, so I have a Kotex pad wrapped around my leaking leg, kept in place by a long string of gauze, tied in a cute little bow.  I haven't showered in what I even consider "a while," and no one, not Fred, not La Bonne et Belle Bianca Castafiore, and not a single member of the Domestic Staff here at Marlinspike Hall, the ancestral home of the Haddock clan -- NO ONE -- fed the cats.  They are circling my leg, alternately mewling and hissing;  It's making me nervous.  It's also kinda hypnotic.

But hell fire and damnation, I feel so much better than my last effort at consciousness!

Nothing beats, apparently, taking both tizanidine and baclofen at the same time -- when you are totally desperate to stop your leg from spasming, jerking, and flying around the room backward.  I reached that point of desperation at approximately 2 am, and slept until 10 am, without once waking.  I feel so much better... it is beyond description.

So is this how it used to be, at the end of a *good* night's sleep?  I guess so.  I could learn to like this.
Heck... they ought to bottle this. 

Oh, the intricacies of pain, the psychology of it.  I wonder if I could manage my pain, possibly with one hand tied behind my back (with soft organic cotton, please), were I simply able to SLEEP?

The bed is soaked.  From my leg.  Totally gross.  All I can think to do (besides lots of laundry) is to wash the mattress down with soap, water, then alcohol?  Maybe use some Resolve?  (I dunno?!)

Unfortunately, we recently switched to a modern mattress, swapping our old woollen one for The Castafiore's Sleep Number Bed..  In a puzzling move, she, much like the ultra-sensitive Princess in the Hans Christian Andersen Pea Story, sleeps on a pile of the things now -- mostly feather, as was the want of the wealthy in Medieval Times (and ever since).   For historical accuracy's sake, as well as for her famous degenerative discs, the feathered layers are carefully interspersed with fresh straw ticking, and other mattresses of felt, wool, the straw's chaff, even grasses and seaweed.   Thank goodness, she gave up on the rice and oat chaff, which she only managed to crush into oblivion within a minute of her nightly repose.  The Agricultural Minister of Tête de Hergé (très décédé, d'ailleurs) has even consulted with us about his plans for the year's cereal crops -- so much depends upon Bianca's bedding choices.

Yes, you suppose rightly -- she is the bane of the Domestic Staff! In fact, we can only get a Mattress Freshening Crew to service Bianca's peculiar tastes thanks to the intervention of her personal... umm, well, thanks to the intervention of The Cabana Boy's biological father, Sven Feingold.  (It's a long story that involves diagramming the genetic aspect of our housekeeping staff's indentured inheritance.)

She even has the ornamented canopy, to top things off just so.  Her bed is so wholeheartedly medieval that the rest of her apartment fairly screams in Renaissance dissonance (remember, she once redid everything in the style of François 1 -- shoot, she *replicated* the man's bedroom and charged admission...).  See Anacoluthe

I think it might be that her sleeping chamber now resembles something of a stage.  Yes, that's the unconscious draw for The Milanese Nightingale.  Even going to sleep is theatre in the round around here...

Although there were canopies and curtains, these weren’t the full four poster beds with poles at each corner which started to arrive in the 15th century. In the late Middle Ages the best beds had hangings draped from a frame which was suspended from the ceiling beams (see left), sometimes supported by a tall bedhead too, and often with a canopy called a tester or celure. The actual bedstead was usually an independent structure within all the finery. Beds tended to be quite high and might be raised further by being set on a platform.

Hmmm. It would seem that not even a great night's sleep can cure me of my tendency to... what? Think in a lateral way? That's what I prefer to call what others might mistake for Wandering Dementia.

And, as I so frequently inquire: Whose blog is it, anyway?

So, beds.  A straw mattress is not such an ancient construct, did you know?  Actually, a bit of background reading tells us that the mattress form is probably not ideal for straw -- "loose" straw is preferable, in terms of comfort. 

Like all important domestic matters, our greatest needs require the steady, quiet attention of a string of present participles.  Stocking and cleaning the kitchen.  Milk, eggs, flour, and coffee or tea -- good coffee, good tea, mind.  Making bread (which is why it's not on the list).  Filling the salt cellars (from sea to celery).  Separating the recycling and taking out the trash.  Keeping a handy supply of toilet paper. Cleaning the toilet.  Doing the laundry.  Changing the straw, the various chaffs, the grass, and the seaweed in your mattresses.  Or, perhaps, in simpler places than The Manor I live in, just flipping the mattress and exchanging the Egyptian-cotton-high-thread-count sheets with some regularity.

Feeding all sentient beings, and tending the rest.  (Or:  Feed the cats, damn it, and water the tomato plants!)

Yes, feeding the cats is part of the domestic glue that keeps us going.  Is it really all that hard to remember, given that our Feline Remnant can be disturbingly vocal?  Do we need to relegate feeding our indoor pets to one of the inherited tasks taken on by the genetically-engineered Domestic Staff on site?  I think not.  And harrumph!

Okay, so, yes, I have written this strange little post over the course of several hours, adding a word at 9:30 am and a phrase at noon.  As I've done so -- enjoying my day while accomplishing some of what I've listed in the preceding paragraphs -- the strangest thoughts have presented themselves. 


Is there anyone else out there who has an extra-coverage, odor-absorbing Feminine Pad strapped to their shin?

Can I find a soul mate who understands how wheelchairs will track dirt all over the damned place, which is why one should sweep up after one's precious self?

Will I ever be able to find a quality elevated toilet seat, cushioned, maybe, with arms?  (And if I find it, will I be able to afford it, or will it join other such items on my Christmas Wish List?)

Can bandages soaked with serosanguinous fluid be safely recycled, and if so, do I put them with the aluminum or with paper and newsprint?

Is it ever acceptable to return a kitten adopted from a no-kill animal shelter (given an unrepentant and undeterrable penchant for chewing wires transmitting important data, such as blog posts)?

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