The obsessive bed by Katia Elkaim



This morning, armed with a circular saw, I decided to kill my old bed frame. The bugger has been taunting me for more than ten days from the middle of my garden. It is neither its dislodged right rear foot nor its faded green left side that will discourage the animal; think: he has seen plenty more!


Everything would have been different if it had been born from the hands of a passionate craftsman, sanded, lovingly polished and then painted in a soft color. It would have been destined for a belle, in a well-heated room where, furnished with a wool mattress, it would have been discreet in all circumstances, but supportive nevertheless. It would have perhaps even welcomed in its bosom the vagrancy of a new-born baby. If it had come from the hands of this craftsman, it would have survived the centuries, seen wars and peaceful times, and heard the concerns of several generations. If it had been created by the genius of a patient cabinetmaker, it would have found itself eons later, perhaps delicately re-varnished, in a store where a young man, another ardent lover of beautiful things, would have acknowledged the father's touch, listened to its story, and promised to cherish it like a priceless gem.


But none of this happened, because this mouldy and disintegrated bed frame owes its existence only to a production line, and its rough construction to the advice of a Swedish instruction manual.


He did accommodate some frolics, but its mattress was lifeless, as were its tenants, a young disillusioned couple. When they separated, the frame and its dead mattress followed the young woman who relegated it to a guest room before throwing it away where a penniless young father spotted it for his almost teenage daughter. A coat of paint, four screws for the box spring and there it was.

Life went on.


The story could have ended there, if the world hadn't suddenly changed. No more disposable objects. The planet is dying and nothing can be lost, everything has to be transformed. The fight against littering saved our friend's life.

The law, not that of God, but that of mankind, declared that nothing should be thrown away anymore and everything should be remodelled. To guarantee the respect of the norm, all the objects called "rejuvenable" had to be chipped to be traced, like my 5 months old little dog.


And this is why this bed frame, which I had left to my now grown-up daughter, ended up ten days ago in my garden, under the rain and the wind, its four feet in the mud. So, since nobody wants it anymore, I'm going to chop it down for the skip, unless... well unless…maybe the sides, once sanded and repainted would make very acceptable shelves for the garden shed or a house for birds and the feet... Well, I've always dreamed of sculpting.


Picture by Randy Fath

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