Glancing at your night stand in the morning shouldn’t make you want to pull the covers back over your head. But looking at mine does just that.
I recollect a New York Times article on the subject I read several months ago. It was interesting. The author posited that everyone has a hard time keeping this area of their rooms neat. I agree. But he went on to say that the biggest problem is the tangle of cords from all the gadgets people keep by their beds.
Me, I can’t blame devices. I don’t have any in my bedroom. I dislike having electronics in my sleeping space–remember the grounding sheet I wanted so badly awhile back? I think electricity messes with your rest. I’m funny that way. I don’t like computers in the bedroom, or TVs. If I had an iPhone–which I don’t–it’d be banished to the kitchen with the dog during sleep hours. I’d have no outlets near my bed if I could help it. None in my room. Hell, I’d sleep on the bare earth. If, of course, it contained no mud, insects, or rocks. So basically if it weren’t the earth at all, but a hermetically sealed sandbox. With soft, non-silica sand. Covered by flannel sheets. And a duvet.
In other words, a bed.
The point is, even without the electronics my nightstand is a disaster. Surveyed just this morning, it sported a ridiculous assortment of useless and/or out-of-place objects. Among them: a pair of Dr. Scholl’s gel insoles, a kid’s hair clip, some 3D glasses, a plastic bunny, a wooden disc from a game MJ doesn’t play, and a thick layer of distressed, unhealthy-looking dust. Then there’s the lamp–a cheap, semi-imitation Noguchi–that’s constantly falling off because it’s flimsy and poorly designed. Let an askew light fixture, then, complete your mental picture.
I am forty-five.
Someday, I dream, I will grow up. My night stand will glow with the empty neatness of a surgical table. Order will reign. Dust bunnies will not inhabit the farthest corners. Books about children’s’ development borrowed from mommy friends years ago will not be tossed haphazardly on the bottom shelf, taunting me with their pithy names and unread quality. Back copies of the New Yorker dating to the Victorian age will not harbor silverfish and outdated political news. My lamp will not succumb to gravity. My digital IKEA clock will not switch back and forth mysteriously between military and regular time, leaving me to grumble, late at night, “what the fuck is 23:17?”
I will be a true adult, with a concomitant piece of furniture next to my bed.
Until then, I can at least put the insoles back in my shoes. A journey of a thousand miles, after all, should begin with a cushioned step.