Friday, December 16, 2011

WHERE I SLEEP




At night when I slide my toes down between the cool sheets of my bed and lie there in the dark for a few minutes, alone with my thoughts, I find it helpful to imagine I am sleeping somewhere strange or exotic. I happened upon this trick during my teenage years and have made it my practice ever since. Nearly every night I become untethered and drift away from conscious thought while imagining that I am somewhere else. Maybe on a bed of pine needles with a roaring fire on one side and a river on the other. On the floor of a public library that has closed down for the night. On a sleeper train crossing the African Savannah. On a cot on a skyscraper's roof with the noisy city down below. You get the idea. I'm not sure why this works for me, but if I am finding it hard to go to sleep I go straight to my pretending game. ZZzzzzZZZzzzzzZZZzzzz...

Over the past year I have periodically put a twist on my bedtime practice by constructing a house for myself. Since it's an imaginary house I was able to use loads and loads of imaginary money to do it, and I was able to employ imaginary skills that I don't actually possess. (I did all the elctrical myself!) At night I always begin by imagining myself entering the house through the main door and then I mentally walk through all the rooms. I find it a very helpful way to redirect my brain from the business and concerns of the day and mentally unwind before nodding off. I have come to enjoy these nightly visits to "my house." I have created a mental image of the various rooms, and although I do sometimes fall asleep in the house's master bedroom I usually doze off on the couch in front of the big wrap-around floor-to-ceiling windows with the city lights twinkling below. Over the course of the past year I have added furniture, and done some landscaping in the center courtyard. Just recently I had an in-ground hot tub installed in the courtyard as well.

It almost feels like I live in my actual house, but I sleep in this imaginary one. It has even affected my dreams. This post was inspired by a dream I had which took place inside my imaginary house.

I have visited the house so many times while trying to fall asleep that it has come to feel like a real place to me. What's amazing is that it doesn't come with a mortgage, utilities, or property taxes. Although imaginary (which may strike some of you as pathetic) it is all very vivid and real in my own mind. It has wide hallways, floor to ceiling windows, white walls, palm trees, and an open, sunny floor plan. There is no carpet anywhere in the house- hardwood floors throughout. Ocassionally a persian rug to break up the monotony. A spanish tile roof.

The main drawback of the house is that you can't come and visit. Although sometimes I imagine that the imaginary you comes to stay for a while. Mom and Dad, I built the guest room in anticipation of an imaginary visit from you guys.

Anyway, posting about it here is the closest thing to inviting you (the actual you) over to my imaginary house for a visit. There's diet pepsi in the fridge if you want one. The cupboards are chock full of black licorice. The Redskins are always on TV.

Come over any time.

9 comments:

The Fredricksons: Brian, Britney, Salty, and Benji said...

I love your house. I have been in a house that has a garden and stream running thru the living room. It was awesome. I have also been in a office building that had a courtyard with tall, tall trees growing and other vegetation. It was lovely.

I am surprised your living room/kitchen area doesn't have more doors that open to the courtyard, like moveable glass walls. Sliding glass doors, essentially, that can be all moved to one side. Also, I <3 your library!

BAREFOOT KANGAROO said...

The interior walls facing the courtyard are entirely glass. I had sliding doors though.

BAREFOOT KANGAROO said...

Oops. I meant to say "I hate sliding doors."

Steve said...

A post like this absolves you of your inflationary guilt. You are, however (or so I am told), still guilty of supporting a cranky (though lovable), delusional (yet principled) über-isolationist for the presidency. I for one would welcome a post explaining the change of heart that led you there.

The Fredricksons: Brian, Britney, Salty, and Benji said...

Why do you hate them?

BAREFOOT KANGAROO said...

First of all, I don't like the noise that sliding doors make, and second, they always seem to break. Somethign goes wrong with the track or the handle pops off. Third, I don't like the looks of a sliding door. I'm more of a French door kinda guy.

The Fredricksons: Brian, Britney, Salty, and Benji said...

Hmmm. I've never had one break, but those are all legitimate things. My brother's restaurant has sliding glass walls. it's one wall that faces the street. Basically 4-5 panels. And you just pull it to one side like a curtain, no noise, no handles. When it's open, it's just wide open space, when it's closed, it just looks like floor-to-ceiling windows. It doesn't much matter, as your walls are already glass. Does the courtyard have a ceiling? or is it open to the sky?

BAREFOOT KANGAROO said...

Open to the sky, unless it is located back in Vermont and then it is topped overhead by a big, peaked, glass greenhouse so we can grow citrus trees and bananas in New England. It would be like Summer's embassy where we could sit on grass and smell damp soil in the dead of winter.

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