God knows what to do with our bed

Kik Lodge

Down in Grignan, a man called Didier has a comfortable clic-clac. He’s a self-diagnosed poet and truffle-hunter, says all treasure lies beneath. What I find confusing is that he calls out Mother! in his sleep and his boar is also called Mother.

I spent last Monday night on a bunkbed. It’s ridiculous, really. A barman called Thom with an ‘h’ wanted to do it in his bed but wished to avoid the lingering thing. He said I could stay if I wanted to, seeing as I work nearby. Anyway, his eldest likes dragon slayers and wipes bogies on his wall.

Sometimes I imagine you’re sleeping on a boat-bed somewhere, drifting. Chiffon clouds above you. I see this image on repeat – up and over the waves you go, down and up and over again.

I slept in my boss’s bed last year, his arm clamped over my chest. He had a ‘love mattress’ and a pulverising snore. I went to work the next day vibrating.

My psychologist has advised me to put our bed on Ebay, or to take it apart, turn the coils into bouquets.

I like sleeping in my friend Tara’s bed when she’s not there. She has silk sheets. I can feel her listening to me as I sleep, telling me I am allowed to miss cock. I am allowed.

The internet talks of seven stages of grief. I realise I’m far from the upward turn.

I can see babies on our mattress, sushi. A thousand sleepless nights. Tiny pools of milk, patches of sweat from feverish sex, then from your long line of later fevers.

The bed is sometimes calm and sometimes it judders.

If I sling a hammock above our bed, maybe the night tremors won’t reach me. I’ll be cocooned. Native Americans used hammocks to repel constant earthquakes.

But I don’t have anything to suspend it from, and the kids’ll give me their seriously Mum look.

In Conforama, you’re standing on the wooden frame of our future bed.

“Best way to test its springability,” you say, “is to trust-fall.”

And back you go, and up you come again; and back you go.

Kik Lodge used to collect her family’s toenails when she was little. Now she collects flash. Her work has featured in The Moth, Tiny Molecules, The Cabinet of Heed, Reflex Fiction, Slegehammer Lit, Ellipsis Zine, Splonk, Bending Genres, Litro, and she has been longlisted for the Bridport and Fish prizes. Follow @KikLodge.