I first discovered the benefits of latex foam mattresses when I bought a '69 VW Camper for $600 back in 1987. That little bed in back was the best thing I'd ever slept on, even if too short for my frame.
In 2000, when Kathleen first moved in with us in Long Beach, we had no bed and no washer. She left to be with her ailing mother for two weeks and instructed me that both conveniences would be expected when she returned.
I searched the net for the best deal on a quality latex foam mattress and found one manufactured by King Coil for under $1200. It gained the sobriquet "The Magic Bed" for its sheer comfort, and my daughters used to curl up in it with us to watch TV. Given the size of my daughters, all around 6' tall, that's quite an advertisment for the bed.
When we first moved to Mexico in 2002 we arrived by plane with Kenyon, two guitars and a studio amp, and assorted luggage. In 2004, when all our money was wrongly confiscated by California's family court and my disability pension was cancelled, after struggling to set things right, Kathleen and I finally arrived back in San Miguel with five pesos and one liter of gasoline to our name--but I insisted on bringing the magic bed down. Having no luggage rack, I tied it by a number of ingenious methods to the top of our van. Nevertheless, all through the trip I had to re-adjust it and tighten it and add new cord to secure it. I also had to put an aerodynamic baffle made of cardboard over the front of the mattress, as the wind would get under it and start to lift the whole thing.
Kathleen was opposed to this transport from the beginning, but with my back pain I was determined to sleep on the magic bed again. Kathleen turned out to be right, as when we had to leave for the States again, the kidnapper's son (for those new to this blog, that means the son of our former maid who held Kenyon, Kathleen's hearing-ear dog, for $10,000 ransom) let his dogs trash the mattress, so it had big chunks bitten out of it. If we'd left it in storage back in Long Beach I wouldn't have had to purchase a new one.
Thanks to Katheen's recent income from Safeway as a supermarket slave, we were able to buy a bed to replace the Magic Bed I. We call it, interestingly enough, the Magic Bed II. (Poets are always so creative at naming.)
It came with two different kinds of foam rolled up tightly in plastic, a wooden base, and a zipping cover to hold the 3" and 6" foam layers together. The 3" foam is top quality memory foam that conforms to all the protruberances of the body, and the foam beneath it supports the experience, being a little firmer.
Both of us woke yesterday with less pain in our bodies. In the morning I usually gather myself at the edge of the bed, catalogue my various aches, my lumbar spine being the worst, then grit my teeth to rise. Yesterday I sat on the edge of the bed and was amazed by the dimunition of pain the Magic Bed II afforded me. I woke two hours earlier than usual and more refreshed. Kathleen, who also suffers back problems, woke up in much less pain as well. We are very happy with our bed!
I should mention that the bed cost $70 more in California because a fire retardant feature was required. And what was this indispensable fire retardant? Merely a layer of material, presumably asbestos inside a cotton cover, to place between the mattress and its base. Hmmm... this is to keep my mattress from melting?
One thing I detest about my home state is its endless meddling in our lives, and how contractors grow rich manufacturing stupid things that don't serve any purpose except to satisfy a law passed "for our own good." The Caretaker State sucks. As bumper stickers say out here, "Don't Californicate Oregon." I'd go further and merge the northern counties of California with Oregon.
If anyone would like a magic bed delivered to their door, here's the website where we purchased ours: Bragada. We own no stock in the company, indeed have no retirement funds at all, but for the price it's hard to beat. You can have the whole deal we bought delivered to your door with two free latex foam pillows for under $900 (unless you live in California). And for the well-heeled, there are even more sumptous beds available.
As a doctor I treated a lot of aches and pains with latex foam mattresses and Rockport shoes.
I have yet to post the same poem twice on this blog, but today's subject calls for a repeat of a my only poem about a bed. I wrote it about the Magic Bed I.
Thine in Latex Foam,
My bed calls to me, a bouquet
of white roses wrapped in fresh sheets,
sun-white and window-warmed.
Like a cod from the deep I am hauled to bed;
its rumpled buttocks welcome me.
I am drawn to bed by the scent of softener;
its hungry linens mouth my skin.
Clown-faced and innocent
my bed came to me,
grieving over the lost gravity
of my body.
Its button eyes wept over my heels’
impression in the carpet,
its stripes grew crooked with jealousy
at my hollow pant legs.
“You’re too small,” I said,
“my feet hang over your edge
like drying fish.”
“You’re too flat,” I said,
“for me to conform to you
the way you do to me.”
“You’re too soft,” I said,
“I sink into you like a stone
in a bowl of oatmeal.”
My bed misses me and I am afraid.
I hear its anxious springs creaking at night.
There is nothing quite like me to fill its emptiness.
(published in Big Bridge)