Lullaby

January 5, 2017 § Leave a comment

The man in the tracksuit has been staring through the window of the bed showroom for three quarters of an hour now.

Inside, there’s not much to see. Beds, obviously. Divans, single, double, king size, drawers underneath, velour headboards, brass bed ends, bunk beds, beds shaped like racing cars. No, not cots, sir, we don’t do those. Leave that to the specialists. Mattresses, pillows, all sorts of pillows, feather ones, foam ones, yes, memory foam, makes all the difference. Have you tried a mattress topper? Best night’s sleep you’ll have. People swear by them. Worth every penny.

The man is still staring through the window.

And how about quilts? Very personal choice, a quilt. Important to get it right. Of course duck down, that’s the Rolls Royce. It’s worth investing, like with your mattress. We spend a third of our lives in bed, you know – might as well be comfortable! You and your wife, for instance, one of you might like a firmer mattress and the other something softer – if you don’t want to be unintentionally rolling together, we’ve got ranges that cover that. Yes, sir, it’s pricey, but you’ve got to think of it in the long-term. Let me show you the options-

It’s hard to tell what the man outside is focusing on. One moment he’s following the salesman’s progress through the showroom, and the next, he’s staring at a spot in the middle distance, somewhere just above the pine cabin bed with built-in desk and drawers.

The couple with the salesman have noticed the figure outside now. The woman squeezes the man’s hand and nods towards the window whilst the salesman is lost in a soliloquy on under-bed storage. The man glances over; almost imperceptibly, his shoulders drop and his jaw clenches. He tries to focus on the salesman’s patter.

The man in the tracksuit does not adjust his stance.

There is no way out of this one, no buy now, pay in twelve months’ time. No interest free credit on a situation like this. The man in the tracksuit knows that all he has to do is bide his time. The couple in the showroom know that they are effectively trapped.

And meanwhile the salesman presses on, oblivious to every hint or cue, determined that this couple will leave his showroom this afternoon with a new bed, a new mattress, a fresh start. He tells people he’s in the business of dreams, and, really, who could argue with that?

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