Thursday, May 02, 2013

Unmade Bed

I'm sitting on my bed as I write. It's the most comfortable piece of furniture I own. We've signed a lease and are only a few busy weeks away from moving out so I'm getting a bit nostalgic. People ask me if I'm going to miss my piano and I'm sure I will. But I may miss reading, relaxing, and sleeping (sleeping, people! This is a family blog.) in my square bed even more. At my writer's group last week, we were given the suggestion to write about an unmade bed and what emerged highlights some of the many differences between living in a house vs. living on a boat.


I don't have a good photo of our bed. Maybe this old picture of Meira huddled on the locker just aft of my pillow will give you a sense of the space.

He looks so weary tonight. I dip into my energy reserves and summon every last bit of my generosity and offer to make the bed. We're on the boat, so it's not as easy as it sounds.
Our bed is in the bow; only the anchor is forward of our feet. The sharp prow made for cutting through waves is not well-engineered for sleep. Our heads rest on either side of a chasm. It's called a V-berth for a reason. If you open the door of the head all the way, this tiny space converts into a dressing room, the only place to change your clothes in private.

We say goodnight across this gap, "The Grand Canyon," I call it. Or some nights "The Great Divide." Our bodies hug the walls, the changeable sea lapping or slapping just on the other side. The foot of the bed is the only meeting place and I often wake to a tangle of socks and ankles. The ceiling is low (don't try to sit up in the night or you will find out just how low!) and morning dew condenses on the glossy paint, converting our bed into a temperate rain forest. Our breath turns liquid and falls back on us at dawn.

Getting in and out is a pas de deux, a Cirque du Soleil audition for 2. I trace an arc with my legs, over his hands, past his face, horizontal until the last moment, then tip down, reaching to find the cold floor with my toes without whacking my head on the hatch above. The girls are still asleep in their quarterberths, heads and arms shooting out of the tube-like bunks like half-launched torpedoes. I start a kettle for coffee and tea, open the curtains on another picturesque anchorage and begin another morning afloat.

No one keeps score on who made the coffee yesterday or who volunteers to straighten the covers at night, turning them carefully on point, intentionally kitty-corner so they don't bunch up in the pointy end, tucking the excess back and piling the layers so we'll stay warm through the night.

We wouldn't last a week if it was about fairness.

1 comment:

H Denton said...

No words, friend, just a big smile. Thank you for your words>picture of your life to come for awhile.