I had finally completed the installation of a device on a lady’s bed to help assist her in sitting up and getting out of her sleep sack. Upon her inspection of said device, Mrs. Lady approached with caution. It was as if I had asked her to reach for a loaded pistol for the first time. I could feel the adrenaline pulsate through the room as she examined every potential angle of engagement.
What was she seeing? I thought to myself. It’s a simple thing, an upside down “U” shape. You grab the bars and pull yourself up. But something was unsettling to her.
“Is there something I can help you with…did you have a question about how to use it?”
“Well, I’m just not sure how I’m going to use it.”
Her concerned voice was muffled as she bent over to inspect the foreign apparatus. The sound of her words softened even more by her straining to breath as she stooped to the bed. If only she would just get in the damn bed I could show her how to use it. What the hell was she doing anyways? The room was so small I couldn’t work my way around her to position myself in her view to motion her to do as I wanted.
“It’s to help you sit up and to help you stand up from bed. If you could just…”
“Well what I need help with is getting into bed, that’s my trouble,” she interrupted.
“It’s…well…I mean…you can definitely use it to help you get in to bed, but it’s made to help you get up,” I reminded her as the impatience began to well up in my throat.
Mrs. Lady still continued with her mission to conquer the entry technique. She backed away and reinspected the simple device, studied it, and turned to sit on the edge of the bed next to it. I seized the opportunity.
“That’s the way I would get in,” I quipped.
“I just don’t… I don’t…I’m not sure,” her indecision creeped into my neck muscles as I flexed my head from side to side to release the tension.
She stood up again, facing the bed once more.
“You see. This is how I normally do it.”
She drew her left knee onto the first six inches of the bed while bracing her weight on both hands as if ready to crawl onto the mattress. Her old bones popped and cracked with every slight movement. I swore I could feel her breaking apart right before my eyes. We were all alone. I didn’t feel like calling 9-1-1.
“I just go for it!” she exclaimed. “I get kind of a moving start and just throw myself into bed. Kind of jump I guess.”
The baffled look on my face was only trumped by the feeling of horror that she was going to demonstrate her acrobatic bed entry. I didn’t need this. Not today. Not in the afternoon when the day was almost over.
“Well I don’t think I would do that,” I quickly intervened. “Try sitting on the edge of the bed so you can lay down and roll into position.”
She once again backed away slowly from the bed and examined the assisting device very carefully. With her hand placed softly on the top edge of the rail she rotated slowly and eased herself onto the edge of the bed once more.
“How would…I Just…I’m not sure…How…How do I get into bed?”
My brain snapped. Did she really just ask that? Someone who has spent over 30,000 days on this planet asked for directions on how to enter a bed?
“Just lie back, lift your legs onto the bed, and then roll over,” I fought through my monotone voice of impatience.
“That just sounds too complicated,” she shot back.
You want to do a running, flying ninja knee-dive over the bar to get into bed; but rolling over is too complicated? I wanted to scream. I wanted to hit something. And then she laid back, rolled over, and slid back to her normal position.
My frustration quickly shifted as something awkward came over me. I knew it was part of the job, but seeing someone lie in their bed as I viewed their vulnerability all seemed somewhat inappropriate. There was a weird intimacy I fought to distance myself from. I was ready to leave.
She quickly discovered a method for using the device to get herself out of bed and I wasted little time in backing my way towards the exit. I thanked her for her patronage and she returned the gratitude. We said our goodbyes but not before she could offer up her babysitting services. Any other time, her childcare volunteerism may have seemed odd. But the quirkiness of her statement fit the event so perfectly I left it at that.
As I drove away I couldn’t help but think how blown my mind was by her simple question: How do I get into bed?
“Uh…I don’t know, you just do! You just…get in!” I screamed at the steering wheel. “What kind of a fucking question is that?! You just…get…in. Just get in. Get in the fucking bed! Fuck!”
Such simple questions are things humans don’t contemplate. There is no instruction guide for mundane tasks.
How to Get Into A Bed?
Step 1. Get in!