It started with the new mattress we bought because our old mattress had two very deep, distinctly person-shaped troughs in it, one on my side and one on ‘his.’ There had been some question on ‘his’ part about whether we actually NEEDED this new mattress – until the night a thick steel coil suddenly shot out of it and stabbed him bloodily in the ribs. There was also a question, again not in my mind but in the mind of my mate of many years, about whether or not we needed to buy that part of any bed that the mattress sits on. ‘He’ said that part was perfectly fine.
“Look,” he said, lifting the sunken graveyard of our mattress to reveal the box spring it rested on. “It’s like new!” he crowed.
And so, we ordered just a mattress, which, in a week’s time, the delivery guys set down on our old box spring, leaving us with a severely mismatched sleeping surface on which we now spend our nights: It’s a bed as tall and high-hipped as the deck of an aircraft carrier, a bed with such altitude I have to practically pole-vault up onto it.
And this is just what I was doing, kind of pushing off to make the leap up onto it, when a sharply pointed object pricked the ball of my left foot, a splinter as I thought, from our splintery floor. I jumped a little into the air and landed again, on my heel. This time the ‘thing’ went in deep.
I yipped. it bled. Neither my mate nor I could see anything under the blood so hey, we figured: it’s a splinter and, like all splinters, it would soon enough work its way to the surface.
But eight days later when it hurt more rather than less, I finally took action and I drove myself to Urgent Care, where the people are always so nice, if you can get past the fact that they insist on weighing you every time, with your boots still on, of all things.
The medical professional assigned to my case took a seat down by my foot, popped a giant magnifying glass into place and peered intently at it.
I peered too.
“Maybe you should lie down,” she said and so I did. She gave it an experimental poke. My whole body jumped.
“Yikes!” I cried. “Lie still,” she said, and poked again. “I feel like Frankenstein’s monster,” I yipped, trying to joke down panic. ‘Jolt me again and I’ll lift up my big square head and lurch around the room.”
She said nothing but only poked me again. Again I leapt like a fish.
“You know what this is like?” I yodeled on. “Electrolysis! Ever have ELECTROLYSIS?”
Again silence, which struck me as odd since I considered this pretty funny stuff.
She exited the room then and returned with syringe and scalpel. She injected my heel, opened a neat canal like the kind people once thought they saw on Mars, and dug out a big chunk of glass.
She gave a low whistle. “THIS is not small,” she said, showing it to me.
Then, as she sewed my foot back together, I told three more jokes all of which she laughed heartily at. I told her I loved her necklace, we made fun of a few celebrities and parted as friends.
I felt so happy I hummed all the way home, stopping only when I entered my bedroom, saw the gosh-darn aircraft carrier and realized that this could all happen again with any of my high-jumps onto the bed, with any kind of shard, be it of glass, wood or plastic.
Thus does marriage wound us, over and over, I mused. This longtime mate of mine is my Achilles Heel, all right. The only comfort comes in knowing …that I am also his. 😉