I love my room. It’s a smallish but gloriously breezy room in a 1913 Craftsman house up the hill from a lake, with hardwood floors, windows on two walls and a glass door that opens on a little balcony that nobody uses but me and the cat. The neighborhood is safe and well-lit at night, and I’ve rolled up my hill alone and pleasantly tipsy from my neighborhood bars plenty of times without a thought to my safety, with occasional hails from smiling neighbors.
But one downside of the “well-lit” part is a streetlight up the hill that lays one incredibly brilliant stripe of light over the top of the house, across the balcony, in through the door, across my bed and straight into one eye. The precision is amazing, as is the intensity: it’s like having a pet laser that lives to dump orange light in my face.
So I made a curtain.
I swatched several crochet patterns: I wanted something not too fussy or remotely granny-square-like. I settled on a simple stitch with a strong vertical stripe, then started hooking. It took a couple months, two trips to Michael’s for yarn, some nonconsensual striping and about all the patience I could muster to finish it, and when it was finally done, I had nowhere to block it. My nine blocking squares are great, but nine square feet is nowhere near enough the surface area of a five-foot-long curtain.
I figured ah, hell, I needed to wash the sheets anyway, and I stripped the sheets off my bed, folded back the memory foam pad, and soaked the cotton curtain in water until it weighed about a ton, then pinned it to my mattress and stretched it out until it cried.
And there it sat, damp, bathing in a mild, dry breeze from the open window and reveling in its dampness. For hours. Damply.
By 10 that night, I’d already resigned myself to a night on the mattress pad on the floor when the boyfriend called to ask about the vegetables he’d left in my fridge.
“Um … would you mind bringing them over?” he asked.
I flicked my eyes toward the ceiling. So I’m a vegetable delivery service, huh?
“You can stay the night!” he added.
My eyes came back down to the miles and miles of soggy cotton stretched out on my bed.
And that’s how my hobby kicked me out of bed last night.