Entry 20: Pursuing a Dream, after prison


I’m writing this today, as a semi-free man.


A bed, not food or friends or a woman, was the main thing I looked forward to the day I was released. Here is my continued journey to reaching that goal.

This blog is having greater success than I imagined. It’s not trending or raging up day after day, but the views and email subscriptions climb steadily. Apparently, there are programs out there that alert people about this, because an advertiser contacted me at post nine. They said my retention rate of three minutes was high for a website.

Having someone wanting to place banners and such on our site is a big deal. It’s made more important when we understand that this site is becoming as a place of comfort, even healing, for many. I hadn’t expected that. To think this diary could be used to provide comfort is a great honor. I’m motivated to keep it around. Ads will help with that.
Since I was approached by someone, I figured I had the ability to approach companies and ask for referral links. I had two specific items I’d like to promote and contacted them and twelve other websites. Amazon approved me and I earn 3-6% on any purchase made after someone clicks the link. That’s cool. It’s netted us thirty-six cents so far.

Ten of the twelve sites denied me, which was a bummer, but perhaps a blessing in disguise, because the only product I rave about in my personal life approved me (most-likely because I shared my story with them.)

In prison I slept on a horrible “mattress.” (I found no pictures of the mattresses we were given. I found lots of pictures for prison mats which look great and comfortable. Those are not used in Michigan prisons.)

Coming out was tough. Fines, parole conditions, additional classes, no license, and an unsympathetic parole officer. Many things had changed, and I needed everything from a toothbrush to a car. I also had three-thousand dollars in fines that had to be paid before I could be released.

When I came out, all of the nice-paying jobs my friends promised were not there. One friend offered me amazing money to clear brush from a field. I worked for him for four additional days. He promised me twelve-hundred dollars for clearing the field and three-hundred a day for the other four days I worked with him. He paid me with a sealed envelope. There was eight-hundred dollars inside.

One friend helped me will a fully furnished, fridge-stocked, and three-months-paid apartment. I appreciated that, but didn’t have the heart to tell him the idea of having to pay all of that myself in ninety days added tremendous stress.

I remember waking up one morning, twenty or so days after my release, after having been ignored, lied to repeatedly, and let down consistently, and accepting no one was going to help me.

The people in my life wished me well, but they were not going to give me a hand up, as I had always thought.

I left the house that morning at seven, walked five miles to a business district, and pitched my services to companies. I told them I just got out of prison. I told them I was sharp, sober, trustworthy, and would work harder and for less than other people.

I emphasized a need to start today and be able to leave twice a week for my AA classes. The third guy hired me. Nine dollars an hour under the table to organize his disheveled warehouse.

A year later, I bought underwear and remembered I’d promised myself a nice bed.

A few months after that, I bought the Purple mattress. I thought it looked unique. The videos that discussed why it was revolutionary sold me, and that was all the homework I did. I bought the purple Hybrid for thirteen hundred dollars, and two purple pillows for two-hundred dollars. I didn’t have the cash so I used Affirm.com (I don’t get credit when you click them, but it’s a great site for credit because it doesn’t affect your credit score, which I was/am building. It’s 730 atm!)
The mattress my friends gave me was twenty years old and taken from a cabin. It smelled. It wobbled, and worst of all, it squeaked so loud it often woke me up.

I was so excited when the Purple mattress arrived that I sleep on it for three days before I realized I hated it. I hated the Purple pillows even more. I probably would have kept the mattress and been disappointed if the pillows had been serviceable. Purple pillows are the worst pillows I’ve ever used, and I am counting jail and prison. Zero substance. I’d put my head on it, and my head would drop to the bed, bending my neck all crazy. I’d slide my arm under it and feel like I was sleeping on a thin rubber mat, like the one you put under drying dishes.

I asked for a refund and the company promised to issue a refund as long as I sent them pictures of the pillows cut into pieces and showed them proof the bed had been donated.

I took the bed to GoodWill, where the kid gave me a blank sheet pre-signed. I briefly considered putting three old phone cases in the donation bin, filling out the slip, and keeping the bed.
For some reason, that’s not the right thing to do, so I donated it. The kid is probably sleeping on it right now.

Super depressed, sleeping on the couch and floor as often as the squeaky mattress. I was even more determined to find a great bed, and committed myself to research. I soon realized the bed game was serious. There are dozens of beds, and with the internet, it’s really hard to tell what’s a legitimate review of a product and what is an advertisement.

After a week of videos and articles and reviews, I decided to buy the Nest bed. (Looking back, I probably confused a paid ad as an honest review). I bought the Natural Hybrid Latex, queen, the bed base, and two pillows for twenty-three hundred dollars. My credit payment was one-hundred and sixty-eight dollars a month.

Yes, it was out of my price range, but if I budgeted food, I could make up for the payment, and after the second visit, Mcdonalds isn’t much better than prison food. The bed arrived and the mattress was really nice. It felt almost twice as heavy as the Purple. The stitching, the Logo, and the color scheme were all great.

I was disappointed in the base. It cost four-hundred dollars but was cheaply made. Also, it didn’t have a headboard. The bed looked terrible without a headboard. Even more strange, the design of the base didn’t allow for a headboard to be screwed in to.

Nest Bedding does not sell a headboard. You cannot attach a headboard to their base. Isn’t that wild?

The Nest bed wasn’t lacking support, like the Purple, but I had purchased the firm mattress (best for a stomach sleeper). A week later, when my lower back pain kicked in, I looked through the paperwork and noticed they had shipped me the wrong mattress.

Purple had been pleasant and really fun to deal with on the return (I brought the pillows to work and we cut them into bite-sized pieces).

My Nest Bedding rep started off nice, but within a few minutes, I sensed his attitude. He kept telling me I had ordered the soft, so what was he supposed to do.

I might have ordered the soft by mistake, but I didn’t think so, and I said that. My receipt showed the bed, not the type of mattress. The shipping label, which he sent me, said “soft” but that could mean the warehouse guys made a mistake. He disagreed.

Four to nine email and phone exchanges later, over the course of a month, and he agreed to send me a new insert that would make my mattress firm. He only agreed to send me the correct firmness if I would agree that the case was closed and I wouldn’t return the mattress. I told him I’d like to sleep on the new mattress for a while and decide. More attitude and then it arrived.

Nest makes a nice bed, but I didn’t want it. I couldn’t stop myself from hating it every time I entered my room and saw no headboard. It was also lower to the floor than I wanted. They guy was a jerk, too. He kept telling me I couldn’t get a refund until I tried the bed for one-hundred days, then when it hit one-hundred days, he told me the case was closed.

A friend offered to buy the bed for twelve hundred dollars, and I sold it. I’ve been paying the remainder off ever since. (Last payment is Nov. 2019).

On the plus side, I kept my Nest Pillows. Best I’ve ever tried. Shoot me an email and I’ll show you the specific one I use.

So I’m one thousand dollars in the hole, bedless, but determined to find something I can sleep on for the next decade (any longer is just being greedy, maybe cheap). 

I kept remembering how good I slept my first few days out of prison.

I have a self-made millionaire friend. My first two days out of prison were spent with him at his lakefront cottage. We kayaked and paddle-boated and swam and walked the three-hundred acres his family owns, talking about life.

It was a great couple of days. The best part was the sleep (close second, breakfast, where we went all out each morning.) Laying on the mattress the first night, I almost cried. I woke two hours before I normally did and felt more energy than I had in a long time. I attributed that to the bed.

I wanted that bed, but my friend earns forty-thousand dollars a month and recently inherited a seven-figure real-estate trust. The bed probably cost too much for me, so I continued researching online until the next time I was at his house. I asked him about the mattress and he said it had saved his life.

He’s 6’3”, 300lbs and said he was always sore but his boss (a man who earns seventy-five thousand dollars A DAY) recommended a specific bed to him. That bed improved my friend’s life so much, his wife bought six of them. Three for cottage, three for their home. They bought one model for the kids, and another one for them.

After the discussion, we went and laid in them. This was the bed I wanted.

I asked how much the bed was and of course, he didn’t know (or care.)

If the bed was under three-thousand dollars, I would try and finance it. Three-thousand for something I would use nightly for ten years seemed cheap.

A week later, I asked his wife, and she told me the beds cost nine hundred dollars.

Nine hundred dollars for the most comfortable mattress I’ve ever laid on ($1400 for the queen). It’s also the mattress a man so wealthy (my friend’s boss) that he has has a seventeen-thousand square foot garage, uses. I’m sold, and I want it.

I haven’t yet bought the bed because I bought a recliner and a work chair with the affirm credit. Both of those are paid off 11/19. The day those are paid off, I will finally have my dream bed.

With companies contacting me to advertise on our site, I thought I might have the power to plug the Plushbed. I told them my story, and asked if I could get a referral credits for their beds. (I was hoping they would send me a free one, but they did not offer.) They sent me a special link. If I refer them eight sales, I get a free mattress. Hence, this entry.

If you’re willing to try a great bed for a cheap price that is revered by the ultra-rich and endorsed by yours truly, visit Plushbeds and give it a try. We spend one-third of our lives asleep. Mattress quality affects mood, our bodies, and the amount of time we spend asleep.

Plushbeds offers a one-hundred day trial. You can use affirm and not affect your credit, so there is no reason why you shouldn’t sleep like royalty, and help me in the process. It also ships in a small box, which makes it a great birthday or Christmas present.

Don’t expect to immediately feel the god-like bliss I’ve set up for this mattress. The one thing all bed reviewers agree on, it takes one month minimum to appreciate a mattress. But you can expect a bed better than many (if not all) others.

Also, you’ll be helping me get one step closer to a dream. If that’s not a win/win worthy of an entry, I don’t know what is.

Best Bed Ever.

Affirm

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Thank you for reading up until here. Post 20 is a milestone of sorts. I have these posts on Amazon for $3. If you want to support the site, buying a copy is a great way.

If that’s not your thing or the timing isn’t right, I get it. I would still ask you to click the link, and leave me an Amazon review. I need 10 to advertise with reputable places. POST 1-20

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If you’re interested in reading more, here is a link to posts 21-60. CLICK ME

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