:: Article

Making the Bed

By Nathan Loceff.

“For some reason I’ve started making the bed.” Luc said stroking the little, grey bristles poking out from his cheeks.

“I don’t know what it is. I’ve never made the bed before. I always thought it was a waste of time, and then suddenly, I can’t stand to see my bed unmade.”

“What are you talking about?” asked Marcel before taking the final sip of his coffee.

“Making the bed in morning. I never used to do it. Now I can’t help myself.”

“So what?” said Marcel rubbing his hands on his cream coloured corduroys.

“So nothing, I just thought it was interesting. When Marigelle was alive she couldn’t stand to see the bed unmade and I never did it. Not once in all the years we lived together.”

They both chuckled.

“Two more coffees,” Luc called across the counter to the woman who was standing in front of them.

“Thanks,” he said when she put two cups of coffee down in front of them.

“You never made the bed even though you knew your wife hated it?” was her response.

“Bahhh,” he started to say but she cut him short, “Not even on her birthday?”

Marcel pulled a little at the pockets of his corduroys and looked down.

Luc blushed ever so slightly, but said, “Why would I do it on her birthday? If I did that she would have realised that I knew how much she cared about it.”

The woman gave him a look that said more than she could have written in a hundred page treatise.

“Boy, you’re really a jerk,” said Marcel as the woman walked away to serve someone else.

“Bahhh, the uhhhh,” he started to say and then thought better of it and picked up his coffee and took a sip.

“Hey guys,” said Jean, coming up between the two friends. He shook hands with both men and wished them both a Merry Christmas.

“A coffee, please.” he said in the direction of the woman behind the counter.

When she put it down in front of him he said, “Merry Christmas.”

“Is it Christmas?” she said looking blankly at him.

“Of course it’s Christmas.”

“Christmas is just for the kids,” said someone standing near them at the bar.

“If it’s Christmas, how come I’m working and all you guys are standing around drinking coffee?” the woman behind the bar asked.

Looking down, the three men all took sips in silence.

Then, after a few moments passed Luc inclined his head toward the window and said, “Look at that.”

Outside snow had begun to fall. The three men watched, drinking their coffee. When they had finished they paid and walked out into the cold. All three wore caps and had scarves wrapped around their necks. As they walked the snow collected on their shoulders and caps and on the streets around them.

As soon as Marcel had said goodbye and turned a corner Luc put his hand on Jean’s arm and said, “I started making the bed,” with a light in his eyes.

“So what?” Jean laughed.

“So nothing.”

“I never make the bed. What’s the point?”

“That’s what you think.” Luc responded.

They walked on in silence for a moment.

“God, I love the snow, I’ve always loved the snow. Marigelle and I used to take long walks on snowy nights. Watching the snow fall past the street lamps was one of her favourite things.”

“Colette liked that too.” said Jean with a sigh.

Luc walked up the little staircase to his apartment. He turned the key in the lock and went in. He took off his big coat, knocked the snow off and hung it by the door. He took off his cap and hung it over his coat. He took off his shoes, put on his slippers and walked into his bedroom. He looked at the bed. It was perfect. Not a thread was out of place.

Born in Santa Rosa, California, Nathan Loceff is a writer who has, as of late, been waking up in Paris, France.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Thursday, March 14th, 2013.