THE DUDE ABIDES


The intimate theatre of high-quality sleepwear

WARNING: This is a true story. The events depicted took place in a boutique hotel in New York city last night. At the request of the couple involved the names have been changed. Out of respect for the hotel group, the rest has been told exactly as it occurred.

As Joe was getting out of the shower one Friday evening, his girlfriend told him his sleep apparel situation was dire.

Joe didn’t realise until then he had a sleep apparel situation, and pointed out – quite reasonably he thought – that he wasn’t wearing any sleep apparel. And that’s when Mary ceased teasing the knots out of her jet-black bangs and stormed out of the apartment in her active wear.

Joe assumed that Mary would be back by the time the pizza came, that she’d gone across the road to purchase kombucha for the re-stock while she rebalanced her chi. He was wrong. The next time he would see Mary again, would be in a hotel lobby 48 hours later, by which point something between them would have changed forever.

Was there something wrong with his body? Joe stood in front of the full-length mirror and assessed his naked form. Not too bad – the banting and high-intensity interval training were really starting to yield dividends. In the reflection in the corner of his eye Joe caught a glimpse of Mary’s red kimono, hanging on the exquisitely wall-papered door to the en-suite bathroom.

Joe felt defiant, and started pacing like a caged tiger before the mirror.

Why should I shell out money and wear pajamas if they don't give me any social capital? If only my intimate other is going to see me in them? I can just throw on some trackies! Or boxers and an old T-shirt? PJ’s are a childhood thing, aren’t they? Get into your jim-jams kids, and get into bed!

He strode haughtily up to the glass.

“Since when has padding around the house become a ritual in haute couture?”

His own reflection had nothing to say about any of this.

On an impulse, Joe tried on the red kimono.

Let’s be clear, Joe was no slob – he dressed well – but Mary, well, she’d really developed an infatuation for bedroom aesthetics. Their room had come to look suspiciously like a downtown boutique hotel. The dry mini-bar had been his sole contribution.

“Now we’re talking.”

Had he said that out loud? He had. And when the bell rang he actually shimmied his way to the front door to receive the gluten-free wood-fired vegan special with butternut, nutritional yeast pesto and crispy kale. It came on a silver tray and was covered by a silver-domed lid thingy.

As he tipped the delivery guy Joe hardly even noticed that he was wearing pyjamas – he’d just had the vague feeling the guy had a great sense of style.

What Joe hadn’t realised was while he’d been busy watching old 90s movies in the nude, pajamas had gone and become a high fashion thing. What he did realise – on reflection – was that the delivery guy had been incredibly comfortable in his own skin; not only that but he’d drawn obvious pleasure from Joe’s little kimono shuffle. The two men had engaged, unwittingly, in a dance of spontaneous mutual self-expression.

Joe sat down on the king-sized bed with their pizza and waited for Mary. There were so many things he wanted to ask her now. But he would have to wait.

And in the meantime, he reached for the remote. ‘The Big Lebowski’ was playing. And the eponymous character – actor David Huddleston – was screaming: “The bum’s lost!” Little remembered fact – The Dude (a.k.a) Jeff Bridges is actually the little Lebowski.

Now there was a guy who could work sleep apparel.

But for the first time in all his years re-watching this movie, Joe found himself giving the Little Lebowski a mental makeover. Rather than feeling the usual urge to don a cardigan and flannel bottoms, Joe began to wonder how he might revamp the Little Lebowski for 2018.

“It all feels a bit drab, dude.”

There came a knock at the door.

Outside the room on the floor was an old brown suitcase, just like the one from the film, which Walter had stuffed his dirty undies into to confuse the kidnappers.

A shiver ran down Joe’s spine, as his kimono fell open. Without closing the door, he took the suitcase back to the bed and opened it.

The pyjamas inside were almost too beautiful to behold. They slipped on without so much as a whisper. The organic cotton felt womb-like.

Having slid in the last button, Joe turned to find a red-headed woman at the door in a trench-coat and Prada sunglasses. No shoes, and in her hand a laden enviro-bag whose contents the stranger swiftly displaced into the mini-bar.

They had a late check out on Sunday morning.