The Bed Frame
My girlfriend has been depressed most of the winter. She claims that this is because our bed frame creaks. In fairness to my girlfriend, creaks is too gentle a word for what this bed frame does. Every time one or the other of us makes the slightest movement in bed, the bed frame makes a noise like a pair of ancient automobiles coupling. It’s difficult to get through an entire night without being woken up once or twice. I don’t even bother bringing sex up anymore.
My girlfriend has a theory, involving sound waves and how certain frequencies interact with the brain, that she says establishes a direct correspondence between our bed frame and her depression. She shared this theory with me for the first time earlier today. I didn’t point out that, in fact, she was depressed for several months before the bed frame began creaking. “So fine,” I say. “Let’s buy another bed frame.” I’m in the living room, trying to figure out what to put in column 11b of a tax form. Do I even need to fill in column 11b? Am I supposed to initial somewhere nearby? “Can’t,” my girlfriend says. She’s in the bedroom, from the sound of things examining the bed frame. “We don’t have the sort of money to be splurging on bed frames. And it’s only this one part that creaks.” “So let’s throw out that part.” There’s a long silence that I take to mean that what I just said was somehow idiotic. “That part connects to this other part, which is the crossbar,” she says. “There’s no taking out that part.” She decides the best course of action is to layer tape over that part, to muffle the sound, maybe. She’s in there for a while. There’s more noise involved than one would expect. “How’s it going?” I call out. “I’m still sad,” she calls back. “Is the bed frame fixed?” “I took the bed frame apart. We can sleep on the mattress.” “Are you sure you shouldn’t see a counselor or something?” I ask. “I’m seeing one,” she says. “Her name is Mandy.” “You’ve told me that before,” I say, biting the end of my pen. “I’ve told you that before,” she says.