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Tuesday 18th June 2013

Our cats have taken over our small spare bedroom and to give them a bit of extra room we decided to get rid of the bed that is in there. It's pretty old and a bit knackered, but it was the first bed I ever actually bought. I got it from Ikea in 1998ish when I moved into my first flat in Balham. Al Murray helped me put it together (just in a friendly way, not because we were having a secret affair and were hungry to have somewhere to demonstrate our love). Funnily enough Al Murray helped me put together the bed that I bought when I moved into my Shepherd's Bush house. It is not one of the skills he is known for, but he is very helpful when it comes to bed construction.
But anyway, that first Ikea bed has been with me for 15 years and though I haven't slept in it for the last ten there are some happy memories associated with it. Mainly of sleeping and masturbating, but those are the things that make me happiest. If that bed could talk... I think it would still choose to remain silent, struck dumb by the terrible things that it has had to witness and the various bodily fluids that it has been called on to absorb.
Al Murray was not on hand to help me take the bed apart and given how much he loves building beds I am not sure I'd want to break his heart by making him destroy one. It came to bits pretty easily and I took all the bits and put them outside my front gate.
I was hoping that someone would take the bed away for me - it's usually a pretty reliable service. If you leave something outside your house in Shepherd's Bush at some point some invisible entity will take it away. It might be elves or it might be second-hand furniture salesmen. No one knows as no one has ever seen them take the stuff. But they always seem to take it. Sometimes they are so over excited by the prospect of free stuff they don't wait for you to put the stuff on the pavement. They will slip into your house and spirit away your possessions. I hope that by leaving a regular supply of old furniture by my wall that I will appease the furniture stealing sprites and they will leave the rest of my stuff alone. It seems to be working so far.
I wasn't sure that an item as big and complicated as a dismantled bed would be attractive to the furniture elves or if there were enough of them to transport it (they are very much an endangered species). Also quite a few of the slats on the bed are broken (due to all the banging I did on them, and not because I once stepped on them when there was no mattress on the bed). My wife had been out to the supermarket - "Is the bed still there?" I asked. It was. Perhaps the system had broken down. Perhaps I'd have to actually make a trip to the dump.
But I went out maybe ten minutes later and the bed was gone. The elves had come and done their silent work. I had not seen them come, I had not seen them go. But the bed had somehow been transported away.
I was glad to not have to dispose of it myself, but sad to see it go. I spent (at least) a third of my life from 1997 til 2002 in that bed. And now it was off to who knows where. Within a week or two that bed might be in the bedroom of someone else, being slept on, witnessing more horrors that it will be too traumatised ever to reveal. I am glad that someone else will get use from it and that (presuming it's not gone to altruistic furniture fairies) that someone will make a small amount of money out of my rickety, soiled bed and I am delighted that the furniture on the pavement system is such an efficient way to dispose of almost anything (they didn't take some old net curtains that I put out there at the same time - they have their limitations). But your first bed is an important object in your life and I am going to miss it. I always assumed it would end up in a sex museum (or maybe in a police lock up for evidence), but it's ended up - who knows where. If you get a second-hand bed in the next few weeks then maybe it will be mine. You'll be able to recognise it from the notches on the bedpost.
There are none.

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