Today I received a brand new top of the line mattress. Delivering it was quite an ordeal considering the monstrous specimen weighs 280-300 pounds according to the 4 delivery guys who had to bring to our second floor bedroom through the window. Unlike other large metropolitan cities like New York, San Francisco and most cities in Europe, here in Dallas, the delivery people are neither accustomed to nor equipped to haul furniture over vertical loving spaces. Here people live in mega size horizontal homes. After a few futile attempts to use the narrow staircase of this old Victorian house, they used an old fashioned ladder and with much struggle the mattress finally took center stage in our bedroom. Minutes after receiving my prized new possession, I laid atop its plush and luxurious surface. I inhaled the “new mattress” scent and tested the many great yet difficult to remember reasons why we simply couldn’t settle for anything less than this heavy monstrosity according to the very convincing sales person/mattress expert.
I found myself reminiscing about all my former mattresses especially the very first mattress we bought when our family, that is my parents, my sister and I first moved to the United States. It was years, digits and miles of technology behind this new matress. We had our minimal belongings and some 1500 dollars to get us started in the land of the free and could barely afford luxuries such as the McDonald’s Dollar menu. We headed to a cheap furniture store and bought the cheapest twin mattresses they sold for 29 dollars each. We couldn’t afford a bed or a box spring for that matter. My mom, sister and I squeezed into the bedroom portion of our studio apartment while my dad slept in the living room part. I still remember the sea foam blue-green color of my first American mattress and as I look back, I recall my initial sense of wonder and optimism in those early days. The many good and restful nights I spent on my cheap mattress and the colorful dreams I had each and every night. I was happier and more hopeful then … I had dreams of making it one day, obtaining higher education, great job and the many luxuries, securities and happiness that awaited me in a not so distant future.
Here I am in the “future” with the education, career, luxuries, family, and many other things I have gathered along the way. I now have in my possession a mattress costing embarrassingly above my humble initial mattress. I have come a long way. Yet I long for those first days and months here. I long for the days when through my teenage eyes, life seemed more optimistic, future was mine to and hope provided daily nourishment to my mind and body. Those days are long gone as is my sea foam blue mattress, and I have graduated several mattress grades, but somehow my sense of happiness and wonder have mostly disappeared. I want to foolishly believe this time will be different; that this mattress would once again cuddle me back to happiness, more restful nights, adventurous dreams and brighter days. That it would become my very own Magic Carpet transporting me to happier times.