I prefer to sleep alone. I remember when I was still living with my parents, my little brother would run away to my room. One night he told me: “If I have you here next to me, I sleep better, I am calmer.” It’s nice and I got it, but I’ve never been like that.
When I had a partner, the best time of day was when he left in the morning and I was alone in bed. That feeling of looking for the cold in the sheets, those thoughts, that pleasure still revives me. My bed is my domain, there I do many things: I love, I read, I work, I dream. I despair. I can sleep with someone without any problem, in fact, if he catches me in another house I sleep just as well, but that pleasure of stretching my legs and arms and having the whole bed for me, I don’t know how to tell.
I often write in my bed. In it I type this column, covered with my duvet and I wonder what I would do if I had a bathtub at home, if I would get into it as I have read that Juan Tallón sometimes does. Agatha Christie was another who also wrote lying there and, in addition, while she did it, she compulsively ate apples.
To that school of lying writers Proust, Valle-Inclán and Capote belonged. The author of ‘In Cold Blood’ boasted of being unable to think or imagine anything standing or sitting. In that place between creativity and laziness they found their literature. Their stories roamed in that time that seems lost, between those hours of laziness. In that guilty pleasure, in that privilege of not having to get off the mattress all day.
Some, like Onetti, took their lazy writer status to the extreme. The Uruguayan lived in his bed. There he received friends, ate, drank … His right shoulder was deformed because he always wrote leaning on it. They say that it was so rare to see him standing up that when he got up, his dog would get scared and, very concerned for his owner, would push him to the cot. When he died, a friend clarified that hers had been authentic laziness, nothing to do with inspiration. He lived lying down because he was a genius of laziness.
I like to write in bed although, if I have to choose, I prefer to sleep. Sleep alone, wake up and look for the other pillow, lying diagonally because it is all for me. My side is the right, the left if you look at it from the front. So when I have company, you can listen to my heart.