"Bed" - Illustrated

Illustrations by Robert Zinni

I woke up on the carpet. It was dark and I was covered in a blanket that I called bed because it was my bed and my sweatshirt was my pillow but I didn’t call it pillow because it was my sweatshirt first. Bed was my bed first.

The carpet scraped my forearms and I shivered and crawled down the hall with bed hung around my head and cinched around my neck with my fingers. Bed had cat hair on it and smelled like popcorn.

I looked in the place where the door and the wall don’t touch and there was sleeping. There was two sleeping and I said goodbye to the sleeping on the trundle but only bed could hear me.

I left bed by the door. Don’t tell her what I said bed. Don’t give me away now you bastard. You smarmy son of a…

I held an index finger and thumb gun to bed’s head. I said listen here bed, this baby is fully loaded with a clip of cartoon gun noises so pay attention. I’m leaving and I’m going away and I’m not telling and when I’m leaving I’m always going south. 

When I get there everyone is going to be fixing to do a lot of things. They will be fixing to go to the store and fixing to start mixing and I will be fixing to join them. I’m fixing you to wait here you bed. You wait and you watch her and if she can’t find me don’t you tell her I went south. I will suffocate you if you do.

(When I was living in my growing up house I woke up one morning under a blanket on top of a sheet wrapped around a mattress on top of a box spring set on a frame. When I opened the door there was a pink blanket and a piece of paper with words on top. 

The pink blanket was missing it’s brother and was only half as big as it used to be. 

The note told me I was its new owner and I was to wear it as a cape if anything sad happened.)

I folded bed badly and abandoned him where the door and the wall don’t touch. I whispered “be good” but not to bed.

There was dust on the floor at the bottom of the stairs and I drew an X with my finger. If I ever need to find this spot again nobody can sweep the floor. 

I hid the broom before I left and I left through the garage.

In the south there was a movie on an expensive TV and there were girls that were fixing to do a lot of things and there was my cousin Ryan. 

My cousin Ryan was Rine to them but only Ryan to me. He had a golden eye and the girls loved his golden eye because it got golder in the sun.

Ryan’s golden eye slowed him down when he swam but Rine could use it to sneak into houses with basements with no-pipes and expensive TV’s and paper view movies.

It was code in the basement to one girl but cold to me. She could have used bed to keep her warm but bed had a job to do and if bed got any ideas about going south to keep some girl in a sleeveless shirt warm because her brother was too busy fixing to fix his pick-them-up truck to stop and put a sweatshirt on her before she left the house, then I swear I would ratta-tat bed until he was covered in imaginary holes. 

You guard this no-space bed and if she wakes up you wrap her up like a burrito. You say no you are not following south. You are staying.

You will never go south.