A Short List Of Things I’ve Found In Bed

1. A phone charger. One is over six feet long and anytime I find it coiled up under comforters and around my ankles all I can think about are those drawstrings that used to be on paper blinds and how parents in the 90s were warned that if their kids slept next to them they would probably hang themselves. I wonder if that’s how I’ll ultimately go. Strangled by my charger because I’m just trying to stop being that girl who never plugs in her phone at night and is constantly at 22%.

2. Pennies. Which was a hysterically accurate metaphor for my love life at the time. Cheap, essentially pointless, and absolutely not supposed to be there.

3. Beanies. A testament to the winters when I’m sad and drink too much and fall asleep in my clothes. Little beanies trickled around the apartment always mean that I’m not washing my hair. Beanies and cups stained with wine and empty hummus containers on the nightstand all mean the same thing. It’s cold outside and inside and I just can’t figure out how to get warm again.

4. A pair of glasses that was missing for months. It’s a pair of RayBans I’ve had since literally senior year of high school. They’ve moved a collective 1500 miles, seen probably 7 different homes, and somehow they’re still hanging on after 10 years. The prescription is all wrong and barely helps at this point. But maybe there’s some sort of metaphor in their resilience. Or maybe I’m just feeling creatively blocked so I’m looking for meaning in anything.

5. A necklace that I took off after the pendant swung and hit him square in the eye. I once read about a guy who ended up in the ER because his girlfriend’s necklace got lodged in his eye socket during sex. So when the pizza necklace I used to always wear swung forward all I could think was how I didn’t want to lose the little crystal pepperoni pendant to his eyeball. He got engaged two months after that. I wonder if she knew about me.

6. Watermelon seeds. We both had to get new sheets after that summer because they were all stained with fruit juice, wine, sweat, and summer could’ve/would’ve/should’ves.

7. A pin that somehow miraculously didn’t stab me. It must’ve fallen off his jacket before he threw it onto my floor. Even if it would’ve stabbed me, I probably wouldn’t have minded. Honestly, anything that has to do with him can happen and I would probably say thank you and ask for it to happen again. I wore it on my own coat for a little while, but it felt wrong. It’s on my dresser now. If inanimate objects could think I bet we’re both wondering if he’ll come back.

8. A bra I claimed to have never found. It doesn’t really fit me. It’s way too big and I’ve never been a “sports bra as a top” kind of girl. But something about having it my drawer feels weirdly validating. And isn’t that part of being a girl? Having a scrapbook-like collection of clothes from people who took them off in your apartment? I think so.

9. Socks. All pushed to the end of the bed, crumpled up and into the top sheet that serves no purpose and the comforter that ends up there when it’s summer and I don’t need it anyway. I wonder what it’s like to be a person who can keep track of their socks. I don’t think I’ll ever know.

10. Countless bobby pins. If you have curly hair and are wondering where your bobby pins are going, the answer is in and around your bed.

11. More questions than answers. They say your bed is supposed to be a sanctuary. It’s supposed to be this peaceful, calming and serene place. I think mine is more like a black hole filled with a lot of overthinking. Maybe it’s because I’m a Virgo. Or maybe it’s just because I still have a lot to work out in therapy. Both. Probably both.

12. Nostalgia. When I gave my old bed to my friends to fill a guest room I thought it would be like starting fresh. That all of the ghosts who’d once been there would go away. They didn’t. I still dream about the loft in Missoula and the heat in August and the people who figured out how to sleep in the bed with me even when I took up too much space.

13. Abandoned pillowcases. How pillowcases can come off in the middle night when I’m just sleeping is yet another mystery that will never be solved. TC mark

Kendra Syrdal

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