Our bed is six feet six inches long, and six feet wide. It’s got to be big. Guido’s a giant at almost seven feet tall in his socks. His ankles stick out over the edge like a diving board. Our bed is where we sleep but it’s also where we happily hang out and hypothesise about the meaning of life, where we have weird sex and where we eat vulgar quantities of pasta. This may sound utterly sordid but I unapologetically report it seems perfectly normal round here.
When we lived in the loft in Bermondsey it felt like our mattress consumed our entire bedroom. I guess it did. To get from one side of the floor to the other you had to pretend you were climbing onto a giant trampoline; you took a leap and then a jump. In a bizarre way, that could be a lot of fun. Especially if Guido was feeling fruity and I just happened to be doing the splits at the time. Anyway, the reason I’m telling you this is because although you know how hard I try to be magnanimous in everything I do – I have a guilty confession to make about bedtime.
I get territorial.
If you lived in London, surrounded by pushing and dodging, you’d know exactly what I was talking about. So in bed I like some personal space. And that means the centre button on our padded headboard marks the non negotiable point where the invisible border is drawn. It’s the line in the sand between my side, and Guido’s. Hey, if I was Donald – I’d build a wall.
Yet Guido has a sneaky ability to creep right over. He’s crafty. Just after lights are switched out I can feel his big toe twitching in eager anticipation. Then a kneecap might nudge me and, if I give him an inch, I can guarantee you a hairy thigh. That’s when he really goes in for the kill and makes his move. He sometimes actually pretends he’s sleeping whilst he’s doing this and thinks I’m fooled by that. He’ll even give a big snort in the darkness and he’ll try to distract my attention by rolling right over. The next thing I know, I’ve been displace to the chilly outer reaches of the sheets. Hanging on for dear life; next stop, the floor. That’s when he’ll settle and I swear he’s laying in the middle of the bed making a star shape with his arms and legs as a sign of victory.
Last night I climbed into bed. I counted the buttons on the headboard. I was exactly where I belonged. And so was he. Right after lights out I felt his toe twitch.
How laughably predictable. I stifled a tut.
There was a nudge. It wasn’t a kneecap so I lay perfectly still. What would President Trump do, I thought? Right on cue Guido snorted so I took my chance and flicked the lamp back on and pulled back the blanket.
”So you thought you’d try to out manoeuvre me, well Ha! Ha! the joke’s on you Guido Vasquez cos I was wide awake and I’ve still got loads of wriggle room.”
There was a short pause as Guido looked up at me naked.
”I see,” he said, “would you like a few more inches?