"a terrible New York story"

October 4, 2006  |  journal entries

Alright, I have a question: what sucks more than losing a mattress off the top of a truck while driving over the Williamsburg bridge from Manhattan to Brooklyn?’Cause honestly, at the moment, I can’t think of anything.

… And the fucken mattress wasn’t even mine. It was my sister’s friend’s, who has been subletting her apartment and was going to put it into storage, but instead gave it to Bee on loan while she’s still out of town. The mattress was brand new. King size. And very, very nice.And it just slipped right off the top of the truck.

Yes it was tied down! Yes it was bungeed to the truck in multiple places. The friend driving the truck said he’d moved mattresses dozens of times, maybe he just got cocky, but it just didn’t make any sense, it was the same way he always moved them. Same truck. Same tie-down method.

The mattress was on first, then the boxspring, the bottom of which we punctured to loop bungees around the beams inside of it. The mattress somehow slipped out from between the boxspring and the truck, and the boxspring, still tied to the truck, dragged behind us for a few hundred yards (I would guess). So, we did rescue the boxspring. And structurally, it’s sound. But the netting on the bottom is destroyed.

Before we saw the mangled mattress, when we still thought we’d stop on the bridge and stuff it into the back of the truck, I said, “well, this is a good New York story!” We were laughing. Shocked. He said, “Yeah, but let’s make sure it has a happy ending … otherwise it’ll be a bad New York story!”

We noticed almost right away, but it was too late. We had to turn around, go back over to the Manhattan side of the bridge, and come back over, only to discover the mattress was no longer a mattress at all and was only fabric at the side of the bridge.

Holy crap.

I probably wouldn’t even believe it if I hadn’t have seen it.

We didn’t really know what to do. It would’ve been so dangerous to stop in the middle and try to retrieve it, so we left it. I feel a little bad about that, but it was no longer anything remotely close to a mattress.

I am so grateful nobody got hurt.

But I can’t believe I somehow – accidentally! – destroyed a beautiful, new fluffy mattress. I have no idea how much it was worth, but we’ll have to replace it. Bee’s friend was too poor to stay in New York City and was saving up money at home for a while, which is why she was subletting.

[Every time I write "subletting" my hands try to write "submitting" instead. And as much as I'd like to pretend that's all about sex it's probably actually about writing and submitting pieces to magazines and such ... ]

And I can’t believe New York just drives right on – it didn’t cause a traffic jam, didn’t cause an accident, the poor mattress just got caught under the wheels and eventually pushed to the side.

What a week, oh my god, what a fucken week I’ve had. I haven’t even told you about the people who found my cell phone inviting me in for scotch & chocolate cake, or how I spent Sunday at the emergency room with my sister, and I only barely touched on the poet who saved my life on Monday. And I’m going down south on Friday to visit a girl. Oh my my, what a life, how did this become the one I am living?

So, it reminded me of Madeline’s mattress fund. My sister and I – and the friend who was helping me transport the mattress – are all quite broke these days. We don’t really know what to do. Any suggestions on how to replace it, and how to get a bed for Bee rather quickly?

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1 Comment


  1. I can't believe that you lost a mattress off the top of the truck and that it was shredded to smitherines by the time you got back to it. Only in New York, you're right.

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