I have been observing a particular phenomenon for many years now, and, after careful study and observation, I am now ready to publish my findings.
Domestically, politically, religiously and socially, the gap continues to close between traditional male and female gender disparities (and rightly so). Even so, there still exists in this world some places where God meets men exclusively, under conditions such that women can neither conceive of, nor appreciate, the nature of their coalition. One place I’ve observed one such peculiar union occur is so unusual, it surpasses the burning bush of Moses and the speaking ass of Balaam. The sacred nature of this holy place is so bizarre as to be bathed in sublime mystery, yet so domestic as to be almost laughable.
If you’re a man, you have such a portal to heaven available to you right now, perhaps very close by, and maybe you’re not even aware of it. You might be utilising it as you read this without your realising. If you’re a woman, and you have a man about the place, I think you’d best read on, because if you dare to violate this place of which I speak, inadvertently or otherwise, you could be responsible for unbalancing not just your partners spiritual equilibrium, but the matrix of the whole, unseen, universe.
Where can this holy place, this seat where communion occurs between the sons of men and God, be found?
Walk into your bedroom. Step around to the side the man sleeps on. If you will fix your gaze upon the space measuring about one and a half feet square which occurs to the side directly in line with his pillow, that, my friend, is it. You have before you Holy Ground.
And what if this particular space is occupied by a piece of bedside furniture? Fear not. Portal will still occur at any point around the circumference of this obstacle, but never stray beyond a few feet from where the owners arm may reach from his side of the bed. But do not look on shelves, in a drawer, or behind a cabinet door for the sacred zone of which I speak. The attributes of this small cordon are so sacrosanct as to require constant access vertically to the heavens, or at least the eight or so feet above. This is because things placed in the area must have constant access to the holy atmosphere precisely above. Trust me, I’ve spent hours on this – and I can’t think of any other explanation as to why a man absolutely must put his special shit right there on the floor.
The little place a man has beside his bed is so seemingly so consecrated, it also functions as a kind of altar. It’s first utility is for sacrificing things on. When he buys something new from a shop, something that cost a lot or that he wanted for a really long time, it will go straight to this spot and stay there for a while, like a kind of tithe. It’s as if he places it there just to see if God (or if we get all Freudian, perhaps his mother) will take it away, and anything that God doesn’t vaporise in a week can finally come off the altar to be used, eaten, written on, screwed up and/or thrown in a drawer or perhaps hoiked into the dirty clothes basket. If someone special gives him a card for his birthday or other occasion, that too will go in the special holy spot for a while. It’s like a kind of testimonial, evidence of a mans ability to invoke sincere feeling in others. See? I simply can’t be an asshole all of the time – see what somebody gave me? I am liked and I am treasured.
The blessed little bit beside the bed is also the place to exhibit the works of one’s hands – a little gallery of validation – kind of like the fridge when he was in pre-school. When the man makes something at work that is particularly clever, he will bring it home and hurry it into the special spot, regardless of how greasy, dirty or ugly it is. He knows, like the tooth fairy checking for teeth, God checks the special spot every night for special things needing His attention or approval. This is why you may be making the bed one day and find a piece of a machine, or a manual with something complicated underlined, or a particularly ornate piece of timber joinery neatly arranged on the floor next to the pillow. It will be discreetly taken away in about a week, once it’s been blessed, to be replaced with another item ready for benediction.
The bedside altar is also where things go which are proving a bit tricky for your man. A troublesome carburettor, tangled piece of boating rope or book that’s a little bit beyond him will come to rest within the blessed cordon, until he receives a certain prompting that the grace needed for the job has been bestowed zen-like while he was doing something else important, like sleeping. Don’t solve the problem for him, or give your advice. Hard things put in the special space prove he is working on trusting A Being Higher Than Himself. This is a good thing.
He will make little offerings on his altar from time to time, in particular, he’ll be leaving half drunk tumblers of water like one might leave whiskey for Santa. You will have to remove these around the time dust starts to settle on the surface of the liquid because when this happens, both the water and the receptacle containing it become invisible to him. While you can clearly see the cup and the dusty water still sitting there next to last weeks cup, he sincerely believes that after three days God drank his offering and also supernaturally took the cup. This is, and will always remain, a deep mystery.
There are other objects which will come to be in the place beside his bed; artefacts from building sites and junkyards, bits of the natural world and other relics of human history. This is his private study of sociology and philosophy. He has built a little anthropological study table there, and if you watch, you will see his whole life pass across it. You’ll be tempted to remove the things, but do not give in to this. I would strongly suggest you observe carefully what he puts there, because everything that really matters to him will pass over this holiest of places at some time. Pieces of you, pieces of his family of origin, pieces of his children and his friends. He’ll bring the fruit of his hands, things he finds interesting and the proof of his cleverness, and if you love this person, you’ll take notice, and you’ll respect and acknowledge the unseen velvet rope he’s placed these things within as a necessary entity for him, and for the health of your relationship.
There are not many places in a man’s life where he can be honest about who he really is and what he really cares about. Violating a man’s bedside holy spot has worse implications than just making him annoyed, or forcing him to pocket things which will end up breaking your washing machine. If you impede his right to have public private space, mark my words, he will revert to private private space. And that will be much more upsetting than having a pile of nuts and bolts on the floor, I assure you.
My advice? Leave it alone. Thanks to Eve, I think we’re in enough trouble as it is already anyway. I’d rather have an untidy little spot of Holy Ground in my house, even if it isn’t mine, than a whole house clean and under control but without the kind of sublime chaos that makes bushes burst into flames and donkeys talk. How about you?