It's been a few weeks since The Bedding Experts moved in across the street from my house at the busy intersection of Roosevelt and State. I had hoped for a yogurt store, a small cafe, a nifty boutique. Instead, I got The Bedding Experts. I don't need a new bed so the only interest I have in the place is what kind of neighbor they'll be. So far, I don't know. They don't make noise, or exude any kind of smells. That's in their favor.
From what I see from spying on them several times a day and night through the big panes of glass that enclose the brightly lit room full of beds--packed together like a boot camp dorm--no one visits The Bedding Experts. Is the store just a glorified ad?
A salesman sits steadfastly in the corner of the store; and sometimes he talks on the phone. And one time I did see one of the homeless men--who sleep outside the store in a little single-tree lined courtyard that encloses the Jewel-Osco across the parking lot--come in and shake the salesman's hand. He wanted to get to know the guy next door, I guess. It must be terrible being homeless and sleeping outside on these cold winter nights--right in the shadow of a fluorescent-lit room full of cozy and tastefully made-up beds. Especially after the salesman goes home about 9 PM or so.
I think one of the reasons no one visits The Bedding Experts at Roosevelt and State is this: Who'd want to try out beds at a busy intersection in a glass-enclosed store where everyone can see you? Tons of pedestrians, tons of cars stopped at the red lights--or creeping slowly in the traffic down State or Roosevelt--can take a good long gander while you close your eyes and imagine what this bed would feel like in your own bedroom. Anyone in the city could actually be watching while you are trying to determine how well this bed would transfer you to dreamland.
Don't bed customers need a little privacy when trying out a new bed? Don't bed-buying couples want to writhe and roll a little bit in the privacy of a darkish showroom at Macy's, let's say, far from the elevators, the escalators and from other customers save for those in the same boat looking for a bed? Who'd want to try out a bed in the middle of a busy intersection?
I think I'll stop in and ask the guy at the desk. Except I wouldn't want anyone to see me.