A mattress is a soft coffin without walls, a large maxi pad for the period of time you are supine. You will die, sleeping is just a prologue. This part is not interesting. A mattress pad (or “mattress topper”) goes on top of the mattress to make it softer, usually of memory foam, a dense malleable microfiber which “grips” the contour of your figure, remembering its form the next evening. A mattress pad is an implicit critique of the mattress it tops. The mattress cover is somewhat absurd, just a glorified fitted sheet (see below) serving little function other than wrapping the mattress and offering some more material on top, like a thin built-in mattress pad. The fitted sheet is a reasonable yet difficult to handle thing, and some believe that a properly tucked-in flat sheet (see below) will suffice. The fitted sheet resembles a gigantic shower cap, its width vs. length impossible to distinguish until the trial and error of putting it on the wrong way. Fortunately, when it is finally fitted (often requiring more than one person), it is a good thing. The human body is a sack of bad memories and worry that often cannot sleep without the aid of a noise machine or an extended-release sedative. Extremely young and old versions of the human body will piss themselves in bed, for which excuses are quickly made, surprisingly, by those who have to clean it. The flat sheet is brilliant. It forms a barrier between the human body and the comforter (see below), absorbing body odors, dead skin cells, and other visceral errata caused by gland or orifice expulsion, and is easily laundered. It is a modern miracle. A comforter is a thick blanket that keeps the human body warm, a kind of dry rectangular placenta within which the fetal-positioned defeated human may ensconce temporarily. The duvet cover, as its French silent “t” will suggest, is something only women and gay men should know about, until now. It is basically a fitted sheet for the comforter ostensibly protecting it, and generally adorned with textile designs favorable to housewives with pedestrian tastes. This multi-layered augmented bed is absurd, a modern “Princess and the Pea” tale of our bourgeoisie going out of control. None of this is necessary. The Japanese sleep on the floor, for they have resigned to the fact that gravitational pull eventually wins, whether you’re on the floor, or 4 ft. high. We are all brought down to the same level, no matter how high the thread-count is. Perhaps the pea in one’s back is actually inside their heart, the vacant one which houses nothing, save the restless mental pea bothering it.