[Note: this was written as an assignment for my creative writing class in which we had to write about a bed and include the senses. I decided to use the senses in terms of my bed to perform a character analysis on myself. Enjoy!]
The bed, it is a simple place, which many only view as an area for sleep. But it is in fact so much more. This can be seen from looking at the way our senses are affected in this place, what other way do we have to gather information?
Pillows and blankets are a welcoming sight to those who are tired, or seeking comfort or warmth. In these freezing days I’ve barely left the warmth of my bed. What you would see looking at someone’s bed would tell you a lot about their personality. Take mine for example, tidy when I’m not in it, I do make attempts to be an organised person (for the most part). Colourful covers and a soft blue blanket, I sleep wrapped in this one a lot. I used to do it even when it was hot, crazy isn’t it? But you see when I was a child I read a most terrifying story (at school, one aimed at children, strange really, and so ironic that so little in the horror genre scares me now) and though it had nothing to do with bed I became convinced that any body part not covered would somehow be cut off. I’ve long since forgotten that fear but I suppose subconsciously my body has grown used to the comfort of the blanket. Then there’s my plushies, mostly from anime and video games, depending on your view of these things the way you interpret this may vary. This one here on my pillow, he’s my favourite and I take him literally everywhere with me when I go out. From my bed you can see everything in my room. That’s a necessity for me; I said the horror genre didn’t scare me anymore, not the horrors of real life. Not that I’m truly scared, I’m prepared for anything that may come, I just want to know immediately if anything’s there.
Sound is a common thing in my bed; I can rarely fall asleep in silence so I usually put on one of my favourite DVDs, or find a comedy show to watch on the internet. Then during waking hours the area is filled with the sound of music. I still need music to survive, even if it isn’t my main ‘thing’ anymore. Then of course, as you may have gathered from something I said previously, there is the sound in the air of various games that I play (most likely Kingdom Hearts these days). Then of course, as this is a city, the sound of airplanes and emergency sirens occasionally pass, along with the sound of my flatmates... the less I say about that the better. But there is one sound I miss. There’s a big difference between where I live in Liverpool and where my home is in London. Here, I never wake up to the sound of bird song, or I never hear it begin when I stay up into the early hours of the morning. In those silent mornings the world feels significantly emptier without it.
Smell and taste, though lesser here, are still common in the bedroom. For me, these days I normally eat on my bed (I really need to clean my desk). Coffee is common, for both senses, it’s necessary to maintain my energy, and simply put I’m a caffeine addict. Then the food, I have not been eating that well here I suppose, but yesterday’s pizza was a nice treat. The taste of pizza sauce along with those meats they use (pepperoni, ham, sausage, beef... whatever else) will always fill me with happiness.
And finally for our main senses there is touch. This is another important sense in bed, mostly because we cannot sleep without feeling comfortable, heads supported on pillows, lying on our preferred side, with the soft touch of covers around us filling us with warmth and contentment.
This is odd, I am usually a creature with a very sexual mindset, and there is so much to say about sex and the senses in the bedroom, quite easy to detail without becoming perverse if you know how. Then again, I suppose a lot of it has been talking about myself, so it is quite irrelevant.
Then there are those other senses, the ones some may argue the existence of, but they are there. It is easier when we are in bed, particularly the closer we are to sleep, with our brain frequency lowering, to see and hear the things that in our waking world would normally not notice, save for the truly paranoid and those more connected to their extra-sensory ability. Of course, it is usually easier, in those hours, when whispers and shadows may prove a more tormenting thing, to simply pass it off as a dream.
Dreaming, descent into a subconscious plane, small and random, or long and much more detailed like the plot of the movie, an existence in another world with another meaning. Some of course, like myself, find that our dreams are always more interesting when filled with fear and danger. Is there something to be said for a person whose only truly detailed and movie-like dreams are full of demonic creatures and murderous humans and whose only goal is survival? Perhaps for people like us, the bed is a training ground for future horror we may encounter. Or it could simply be viewed as a place of terror... or perhaps not. When I dreamed I was killed and awoke in darkness still paralyzed from sleep, for a moment truly believing I was dead, there was the strangest calmness. Of course that would make sense, once we experience such things, it is foolish to go on fearing them, what can it change anymore?
This bed, the bed at home, it makes no difference to me, of course I never sleep as well in a strange (unknown) bed but I so rarely do that anyway, in both all I’ve said here is the same. I do have an attachment of sorts to my bed. It is for one, a place to imagine and think, and where a lot of my stories come from. Aside from these, there is only one other bed I can think to mention here, one others may not think of or see as such – my coffin, the place where in the future, I shall sleep for a final time before passing from this world to the next. The coffin is a bed of sorts and should be a comfortable place for the deceased to rest. It is, in a way, the ultimate bed. I for one, already have a plan for mine, materials and shapes and colours, much as I have planned the rest of my funeral. But this has gone on long enough already, so that is a story for another time.