It has been cold and because I do not yet have a down comforter (I gave my old one to Laura), I have been sleeping inside my military sleeping bag on top of my mattress. Oh, God! It’s so nice. If you wear a sleep mask and earplugs and put on space noises and take melatonin and magnesium and sleep in a cool dark room then it is dangerous to also be inside a sleeping bag. You will never want to leave. You will end up sleeping for nine glorious hours—sleep when you should be awake and writing terrifyingly stupid short stories!
Here’s the thing: The problem is not so much the comfort of being inside of it as it is the discomfort of leaving it. Often I’ll wake up and just hang out inside that thing for an hour or so. I’ll read or email people or just flat out stare at the ceiling in a calm and sedated trance.
I have ordered a yutanpo from Japan, which is a sort of thick plastic water bottle you fill with boiling hot water and put beneath your comforter at the foot of your bed. It stays hot for about twelve hours, and radiates heat and keeps you warm all night, and so on. I actually have a wool yutanpo cover that I bought in Tokyo six or seven years ago. You see I used to have a yutanpo, but I gave it to my old girlfriend. I had two covers and I gave her the better one. Yeah.
Uh, anyway: I am in the process of selling most of my things, and so with some of that money I’m going to buy a nice down comforter and put my wool-covered yutanpo at the foot of my bed and feel real good.
The sleeping bag rules, but the cocoon-like feeling of it is too nice. And also, I am famous (lol) for sharing my bed with my friends when they stay over, and lord knows there’s no way two people are going to fit into that thing.
Oh, baby! I think I just got real excited imagining all the weird sleep I’m going to have once I get all this together.
An important thing I must mention: My bed will be warm, but my bedroom will be absolutely ice-cold.
Of course I’m going to quote ‘Moby-Dick’ now:
We felt very nice and snug, the more so since it was so chilly out of doors; indeed out of bed-clothes too, seeing that there was no fire in the room. The more so, I say, because truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself. If you flatter yourself that you are all over comfortable, and have been so a long time, then you cannot be said to be comfortable any more. But if, like Queequeg and me in the bed, the tip of your nose or the crown of your head be slightly chilled, why then, indeed, in the general consciousness you feel most delightfully and unmistakably warm. For this reason a sleeping apartment should never be furnished with a fire, which is one of the luxurious discomforts of the rich. For the height of this sort of deliciousness is to have nothing but the blanket between you and your snugness and the cold of the outer air. Then there you lie like the one warm spark in the heart of an arctic crystal.
This is The Deliciousness, which I have written about many times before, and have enthusiastically explained to people who no doubt wished I would stop talking. You cannot appreciate how good your body feels unless a fragment of its opposite is there to remind you of it. That’s why drinking a cold beverage in a hot bath is real nice, and why peanut butter goes with jelly, and on and on. I mean, hell, man. It’s the god darn yin-yang when you really get down to it.
Hey!! Come spend the night. I’m getting new pillows too. You’re gonna love all this stuff. I’ll be Ishmael and you can be Queequeg. OK??