I’m contemplating murder.
It feels weird to be in a place where I can type that last sentence when just weeks ago life seemed so normal. But sometimes the murderous rage comes upon us just like that, or, I don’t know, maybe it is just lack of sleep.
The soon-to-be victim hasn’t publicly shamed me, nor is blackmail in the picture. To my knowledge there is no infidelity, but I would be lying if I said my wife wasn’t mostly to blame.
Let me begin this mess at the sordid start—my wife’s birthday. She asked for several things, and I picked up a few of them, happy to play the role of doting husband. But then days before the big day, she added an item to her list, an item I don’t recall her mentioning before. While her presents had been bought and wrapped, the romantic inside me—his name is Javier—decided uno mas couldn’t hurt. I bought said item, stuffed it in a box, and thought about the smile it would surely bring to my wife.
Oh, and smile she did. A big, bright, knowing display—it was almost as if she knew the torture this would bring my way. EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT.
Last night was a perfect example. I went to bed about an hour after my wife, and a month ago, all would have been well with the world—before it. In those sweet days of yestermonth, I would have heard her gentle breath, nestled quietly beside her, and joined in pleasant slumber. But now everything has changed. Now, I wedge into what little bed remains because the victim is in there with us, hogging most of the prime bed real estate. In these confused modern times, they call it a “body pillow,” but the old word tells it as it is: INTRUDER. There in the middle of the bed, this enormous pillow takes up easily the size of a full-grown trucker. It lies between my wife and me, a barrier for any sort of human touch, a wall fully allowing me to empathize with those in Berlin.
And it isn’t only the barrier that grieves me—and Javier—but the weather change as well. You know how in some places there are mountains and, as a result, valleys. These valleys sometimes are blocked from wind currents and other weather patterns, and hence become the hottest non-volcano places on earth. I actually don’t know if this is the case, but it sounds like it could be possible—probably what happens in Death Valley—so we are going to go with it. With the giant trucker-sized mound next to me, there has been ZERO airflow. The fan’s best attempts at air circulation is stymied, as wind currents treat the massive pillow like a ramp and sail right over the top of my sweating, wakeful form.
Hot and tired, I squirm. I’m hot because the lack of breathable air finding its way to me, and I’m tired because there is absolutely no space. I owe it to my Australian heritage, but I’m an aboriginal sleeper. You know how aborigines are depicted in films before they go on walkabout, just sort of standing around? Do you recall the way they stand? With one foot wedged just above the knee, making a little triangle out of the leg?
This is my preferred sleeping shape—not standing up mind you, but sort of on my side/front, with my triangle-ed knee touching the edge of the bed, and the rest of me thrust towards the center. Well these days this is a total impossibility. My leg hangs over the bed, and really, who can stomach that. I’ve tried every other position possible but to no avail, and to no sleep. Lately, I’ve been wedging the giant pillow between my knees, but it isn’t for comfort, I squeeze it with anger, plotting my next move.
One can’t just hide an enormous trucker-sized pillow. It is impossible. It will be found and I will be implicated—there are only two of us in my house, after all. Fairly open-and-closed investigation. I make the bed in the morning, and often leave the pillow on the floor—a pretty obvious hint—but the glory-hog always ends up back at center-stage. I’ve even tried beating my wife to bed, but I’ll wake up in the night and BAM there it is, like some sort of voodoo magic. When this happens I try to push it over on my wife’s side using my backside, like Patrick Ewing posting up, but she always wakes up, and I’m left pretending I was having a basketball dream—and honestly, who dreams of being a post player?
So you see, murder is the only way. The obvious method would be to stage a break-in. I think it is feasible that a very selective burglar barged in, rifled around the bedroom for jewels or precious heirlooms, got spooked at a noise, and made off with a newish body pillow and nothing else. The trouble is, I’ve been keeping this tactic in reserve in case my wife ever gets a cat.
Destroying it is certainly an option, but surely I would be caught in this, for there is a sizeable portion of pillow to destroy. The only method I can come up with is to Shawshank it. I could reach inside the pillow case, cut an opening in the actual pillow, and take a handful of stuffing out each day in my jeans during outdoors time. The problem is I’m certain I would leave evidence, and it might become pretty obvious in the waning stages, when the pillow is wasted away to nothing. (My way around this so far is to shrink some of our clothes and convince my wife that, indeed, the pillow isn’t shrinking, but we are, in fact, growing! Again, just seems like too many loose ends.)
So murder it is. The rough plan—yes, I know I’ll need to refine it—is to convince my wife to take the body pillow to Labor Day at my parents’ place on the lake. To do this, I’ll need to act like the pillow is a godsend and that neither of us can sleep without it. This will be the hardest part of this ploy by far for it will be the greatest, most counter-intuitive, illogical untruth I’ve ever uttered in my life. But convince her I must. Then, before leaving, I’ll coerce everyone to take one last boat ride before leaving, a boat ride I will slip out of using—I’m sorry to have to admit this—diarrhea. Listen, I know this is shameful and lowbrow, but honestly there is no excuse in life that “gets you out of jail” quicker than diarrhea. Running late? Failed to study? Don’t want to run the mile? I mean, I’ve been using this for decades, and honestly, I think there are a lot of ways this simple stratagem can be employed for the greater good—but that is another post for another day.
Once the family is out on the boat, I’ll grab the monstrosity from our bed, drag it down to the dock, load the pillow case with rocks I hid in the dock sink the day before (#preparation), and fling it out to the open waters of the Table Rock. It will be at rest, and finally, so will I.
Then it is back to the bathroom to await the return of my family. Everyone will leave at different times, and I’ll make sure we are not first. As we are packing, my wife will surely say, “Have you seen my body pillow?” Inside I will guffaw giddily, but externally I will say, “Hmm, no I haven’t . . . Do you think Ryan and Leslie accidentally took off with it? You know what? I’ll call them and see.”
I’ll head out to the deck with my phone, and my wife will finish loading the car. Another win for this plan. When we are ready to leave, she’ll ask, “Do they have the pillow?” I’ll tell her that they aren’t answering but they must, and that Ryan probably thought Leslie had packed their body pillow and loaded it up like a real dope. They’ll just have to bring it to us when they come visit us.
And here lies the beauty of this plan. She won’t go buy another one because she thinks my sister has hers! Then we’ll call them before they visit in a few months, and low and behold, they’ll reveal they don’t have it at all! “It must be at the lake house somewhere!” I can say with absolute honesty because it is at the lake house! It is out disturbing the sleep patterns of fish in the lake! We won’t visit there for another few months, then it won’t be anywhere, and we’ll chock it all down to a mystery worthy of a really dumb CSI episode. And by that point, we’ll both realize we’ve learned to live without it after all, and go to bed, just the two of us.