Ain't No Bed of Roses

By Don Doman

My pillow is the Dorian Gray of the bedroom world.

In his novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde told the story of a young man whose portrait grew debauched while he retained a youthful and pure appearance. The view the world sees of my pillow is that of a nice clean, florally decorated pillow case which covers a zippered pillow baggie. Inside that baggie facade is a vile, sweat-stained, drool-soaked, tattered and discolored heap of styrene fill - loosely held together by thread-bare remnants of twenty year old material.

The insides of my pillow show the ravages of time slowly pillow-ticking away, while the exterior looks as it just came off the shelf at K-Mart - The Martha Stewart Collection.

Why donít I just buy that new pillow? Itís like marriage. After you finally have your spouse trained, why would you want a new one? My old pillow finally fits my head. Itís the perfect size. I donít want to start over with a new pillow. I donít want to go through the break-in period, again. I like my pillow. Weíre very close. I love my pillow.

Actually, I do have an official pillow-in-waiting. When I sit up in bed to read, I use two pillows - my good, old, vile pillow and my newer pillow-in-waiting. When itís time to sleep, the new one is thrown down to the foot of the bed. The old one cradles my noggin. It is so comfy! Eventually, my Dorian Gray pillow will wear and thin down to the height of a sheet of paper. Then itíll be thrown away (In about ten more years, perhaps). The pillow-in-waiting should be just the right size by then.

My wife has her own pillow, too. Sheís even more attached to hers than I am to mine. Her pillow travels with her. She sleeps on it in the car. She disdains hotel pillows for her own. I, being more worldly, can make do with other pillows for awhile. Eventually, however, my grimy, decadent pillow calls to me. As a matter of fact. . . itís calling to me right now.

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