On one of those nights when sleep was taking its time to take over, I was trying to recall the last random person I had slept with. By ‘random’ I mean either someone I barely know, and/or someone with whom such progression was very much unexpected. Thus, if I am not mistaken, the last one fitting those characteristics was a girl… We briefly got introduced to one another in China, and a few months later she decided to stop by Prague to see the city on one of her European trips. The one before her, now that I think of it, was also a girl…
It occurred to me that actually there had been quite a few of such random people in the same bed with me, so it got me thinking whether maybe something in my childhood pre-determined this tendency… On the one hand, I most of the times had a bed to myself when I was growing up. However, at other times pre-determinants have been in place of what was to come in the future.
For instance, for a couple of years when I was little and not yet at school, I slept on the same bed with my granny. She used to always turn away from me because, allegedly, I often fought in my sleep and she was afraid I’d give her a black eye. The black eye itself was less of a concern for her, however, than the fact that the neighbors would think it was grandpa beating her up – an unthinkable scenario and immense shame to risk undergoing.
At different times, some of the relatives or family friends staying over would also end up on the same bed with me at home, since it was a wide bed after all. The critical point might have come during one of the trips to Cyprus: I ended up sharing the room with some woman from the group that I didn’t know. We played a prank on her friends who called her late in the evening – she asked me to answer the phone, say it’s a wrong room and talk them into a date in the bar downstairs to which we, of course, never showed up :).
From then on it all just slowly picked up the pace… When my former friends have decided to throw a housewarming party at the former flat I lived in (very wonderfully timed right the weekend before all my midterm exams, too), they invited their buddies I for the most part didn’t know any of. I was too tired to bother joining the ‘fun’ and went to bed. Soon after, I was assigned a companion – one of those guys who also got too tired too soon – who rolled to the wall and passed out in a matter of seconds and, for all I know, neither moved nor snored the whole night through, which was just perfect enough for me. As I found out in the morning, the random companion (whose name I didn’t even get a chance to ask) miraculously disappeared and several other guests also managed to secure sleep-over spots in da house, which justified my fair share of the lot. I also found out how trashed the place was from all the cooking (flour all over the carpet) and eating/drinking (dishes pretty much on all surfaces). By mid-week after the party my flatmates still did fuck all to clean anything up and it all began to stink pretty badly. In the end, on a Wednesday night instead of reviewing for yet another exam and sleeping I stayed up all night washing and cleaning everything… Those were the days!
There had been other random people in the same bed with me over the course of time. Some were friends from the dance world, some travel partners, while others were people I barely met, like that girl (we were frankly too lazy to inflate an extra mattress in the kitchen and, yet again, my bed is wide enough for even three people – tried and tested: when three CouchSurfers stayed in my room for the New Year’s weekend a couple of years ago, so it wasn’t a problem to fit two).
In either case, what I usually say is “as long as someone doesn’t turn around all the time and/or snore, I don’t mind bed-sharing”. I also stopped fighting in my sleep and potential random co-sleepers are safe, too. So far it has all worked out pretty well for everyone involved and everyone got their fair share of night’s rest. Whichever exact childhood developments are to blame for my liberal approach to allowing other people to sleep on the same bed with myself may remain a mystery, but in a way I’m looking forward for more: it is a great source of bedtime stories (in the forms of tales shared before dozing off) and, before all, it usually means that I am either at a new location to explore and enjoy, or that yet another guest is in the house, who is full of interesting experiences to hear about and conversations to share. Have I slept with YOU yet? :).