Anna Isaac

Mattresses everywhere this week for ANNA ISAAC.

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There’s a skip outside my window and once every two weeks it gets emptied at roughly (I’m not OCD) 5:32 am.

This wakes me up; but I’m not bothered by the beeping, grinding (who doesn’t love a bit of that), and wrenching that invade my Friday morning sleep.

No, I’m troubled by the slow, unerring accumulation of mattresses and furniture as the skip slowly fills.

I can’t help thinking, whose mattress was that? Who shagged on it? Did they love each other while they made ‘love’ on it? Or did they break it by trying to make some sort of fucked up Meccano from the springs? Or was it just an old one, and someone’s bad back needed good lumber support, so it had to be cast away.

Perhaps these thoughts caused ‘the mattress dream’.  So called, because it was a dream about mattresses.

I’m sitting in formal hall, getting wound up about trying to save spaces for friends, despite being entirely alone. Then (you’ve guessed it) in come the mattresses, somehow managing to clutch bottles of wine and stride/flop in wearing their gowns.

In short, after much conversation about staining and regular turning, and other chitchat regarding general mattress maintenance and cheese courses, I realize the hall is full of every mattress I’ve ever slept on.  The sandy, itchy one I slept on in Jordan, a fair few rubbery ones from hospital, the lovely squashy double one from a B&B in Sussex, the twins from the bunk beds that I only got rid of last year…

I wasn’t struck with nostalgia, but complete terror at how immeasurable life is. How, in so many odd ways we cross over with strangers. Even my embarrassingly uneventful life has spread itself (for want of a better word) across so many beds that I’ve lost count.

I have thought about this too much: yesterday a hollow on one side of my mattress, along with other evidence, lead me to wonder if the last person to have my room had a penchant for a very, very, particular kind of nocturnal activity. This went far beyond the point at which I should have pulled myself together, let it rest and watched Sherlock on iPlayer.

All the same, I can’t help but feel, as another mattress is tossed in the skip, that we should spare a thought for the ghosts of nights past.

A night to remember

A bit, between the sheets,
An evening and that stretch before dawn,
Set off by a yawn
A sigh, a moan –
Or a murmur then rest.
Remember this one, it might be the best.