Saturday, December 18, 2010


SPARTAN LUXURY

Not that I'd prefer living 2500 years ago, or agree in any large way with the overall Spartan philosophy, but being a poor boy you learn a lot about how little you need. As any long-term traveler knows, he is freest who elects his own direction. He also travels fastest who doesn't bring every damn thing along. Spartan is the way to go, so it's mostly the way I've always gone: One-bowl meal, sleep anywhere, one change of clothes, your best friends a good pair of highway shoes and a good sleeping bag-- that's the way I traveled and that's the way I've tended to live ever since my feet first voted: walk whenever possible, learn to make and repair, never throw away what can be mended or fulfill another purpose, and dress and live accordingly, traditional standards of decency and decorum notwithstanding.

The best aspect of the spartan code is that it makes the occasional bit of luxury all the moreso. At my age I deserve it. You can have some of that chocolate if you want. Yes, I gave in and bought myself a present this year: a set of way unspartan flannel sheets and pillowcases. Each colder night I now drift off to sleep with a big smile on my face, warm with smooth luxury whichever way I turn, nuzzling wantonly into downy dreams.

I had been using regular Japanese sheets, which seem to have been made for folks who don't move during the night; I turn over once and half of me is in the cold. Which for years was ok by me, until my lifetime reached last month and a yearning niggle surfaced when I saw in a catalog some FLANNEL SHEETS and a mindbell rang like I was off to the races. I sent in some digital currency and got these luxuriously smooth red flannel sheets that don't just equal the size of my bed-- unlike the bonsai J-sheets, they are much bigger than the bed, and can be tucked in! So smiley sleep now rules, unlike in the flannelless nights of old Sparta.

No wonder those Spartans were so serious.


5 comments:

Tabor said...

I seem to be thinking that a lot these days...'at my age I deserve it'. Odd how running out of time gives one freedom to indulge.

Kay Dennison said...

Good for you!!!! 'Spartan' only goes so far when one's old bones protest. The greatest lesson I've learned in the past decade is that I'm allowed to be good to myself.

Oliver said...

Sound advice.
But I wonder if any kind of special sheet is really necessary if you live in Japan...

Chancy said...

I feel warm and cozy just reading this.

Gina said...

this was a good investment into the future... you'll have them until ... ...