In my 20s, “musical beds” was downright subversive. Now it’s all about getting through the night in my own house. “Every home needs an auxiliary bed,” some one told me over dinner last weekend before I went home to find out how true that is. With Ken running a low-grade fever and sick for days, I moved into Natalie’s bed, a rare excursion for me, given how I’m usually the one sick or the one who refuses to leave our marvel of a bed.
For four nights, I’ve been hiding out from his germs, coughing, thrashing about, and snoring by sleeping down the hall. I wake lately to a dark room on the north side of the house, strangely warmer though, instead of in a cold, bright, south-facing room full of sun and squirrels rushing the window to taunt the cats.
For years, my kids were the musical bed players. As little ones, they crept silently into bed with us or each other. When it was time to wake them up for school, I’d search under covers in various rooms under I found a few of them, peas in a pod, hiding out together under flannel. When their friends slept over, we’d pull out the futon bed in the living room or throw sleeping bags on the floor in the basement so that they could go to sleep and wake up watching Lord of the Rings marathons.
No marathons lately, but the eternal quest for sleep in a warm, dark place, and unlike musical chairs, in which there’s one less chair each round to toss out a player, the beds keep multiplying. Counting couches, there are 12 comfy places to sleep at this house, including the front porch futon bed if you don’t mind winter. Meanwhile, the dogs and cats migrate from couch to dog bed to human bed, all of us just trying to find the right place to dream and replenish our bones before the vertical calls of the day.