my sleeping bag...
i haven't washed it in well over a year, and i've slept in it nine nights
out of ten. it looks clean, but i shudder to think of all the things that
must be ground into it. a gallon's worth of soy milk, spilled during all those puffed kamut breakfasts in bed. cum. "britnei" jacked off on my
eggcrate mattress, stole my traveler's checks, charged 40 bucks' worth of long-distance calls to our phone bill, and took off for england.
he left two things behind. selling his pager for a mere $15 wasn't
especially satisfying, but i knew his life would suck without that jam-
packed address book, full of contacts from all over the globe. i tore that baby up without a shred of remorse, along with the bad poetry
he'd written to his mom back home in jamaica. it was signed "iman".
not only was he a thief-he was a thief with a pseudonym! my sleeping
bag's got faint blood stains from days i've woken to greet the monthly
visitor my aunt calls her "cousin from the country". my sleeping bag
smells. it smells of food and drink and bodily fluid, but mostly it just
smells of erin. i've slept in it on couches, in the backs of countless
vehicles, and on humboldt county's mad river beach. it was there that
a corner of it melted when i lay too close to the fire. oops! i've slept in
countless different states in my sleeping bag, and in canada too. several people have asked me why i never wash it. how could i? i'd
feel like i was rinsing away all of its history. and besides, i'd much rather cuddle up to its dirty, comforting odor than to the clean, foreign
smell of liquid tide.