My first college fling was a Berkeley punk, a high-school dropout who slept in a converted boiler-room on a threadbare mattress he had found in the street.

He worked for minimum wage at a t-shirt shop, and his lack of money was a convenient excuse for an anti-consumer, punk-rock lifestyle. Newly sprung from a bourgeois suburban background, I thought that was pretty cool.

His bed epitomized his belief system. He didn't own any real bedding, so we used a canvas mailsack as a pillow, and slept under one ancient crocheted blanket – the kind that grandmothers spend months crocheting for their first-born grandchildren. It smelled of must and cheap shampoo.

I was always freezing cold when I stayed in his bed, but I thought that was kind of cool too.