An 15-year-old and an air mattress: a match made in hell

October 1, 2023 — by Jex Popov
RIP air mattress — you will be missed.
Pro tips on how not to handle an air mattress that doesn’t belong to you.

A 15-year-old and an air mattress walk into a bar, but only the 15-year-old walks out. Or, rather, the 15-year-old wakes up at 6 a.m in a small, hot apartment in LA on the floor only to realize that the air mattress he was supposed to be sleeping on is rapidly deflating.

After arriving in LA the day prior, I’d been picked up by my lovely older sister, who had practically begged me to grace her with my amazing presence for at least three days when she wasn’t swarmed with college classes. To prepare for the occasion, she asked one of her friends for a spare air mattress and, miraculously, they were willing to provide one for me. My sister and her boyfriend had also spent a considerable amount of time the day prior trying to inflate the old thing. 

Even with her repeated warnings to not roughhouse the old crusty mattress, I was not able to control myself and gave into my intrusive thoughts, plopping down in my delirious state instead (night flights really hit differently). 

Little did I know, I had just ripped a hole. 

In other words, I, the generously accepted guest to my sister’s humble abode, had just gone and ripped a hole straight through the center of someone’s beloved mattress.

Now luckily it didn’t explode, or else someone would’ve called 911 and reported shots fired (it is LA, after all)! But that did not make the experience of having to trek into my sister’s room at the crack of dawn any better. I felt like a child having to inform their parents of having wet the bed. After explaining the mattress fiasco to my sister, she then got up to inspect the victim (the mattress), before grudgingly notifying the grieving parent of the air mattress about how their child had been body slammed to the floor and unceremoniously killed. 

Now, whenever I walk down the isles of Mattress Firm and see their collection of air mattresses, I shrivel up into myself like a turtle retreating into its shell as the mattresses just sit there and watch on, judgmentally, implicitly condemning me for destroying one of their own.

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