Stress wears on the body as well as the mind. This week I peaked. And I crashed. Promises of staying up late with my wife for adult..um..conversation were broken. Just before my head hit the pillow, blackness engulfed me. I never felt the pillow. It was as if a blackhole sucked my total being from my body. Perhaps the HLC finally became operational and the world ended.
Our bed is Disneyesque. I don’t mean that it is a canopy bed with glorious antique wood bedposts extending to the ceiling nor a frilly thing with more pillows than bed space. Our bed more resembles Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory or Bedknobs and Broomsticks only we don’t fly ours that often. Typically I hit the sack first as Cathy finishes cleaning the upstairs and readying the children’s backpacks and clothing for morning. One or two hundred pound German Shepherds join me. Cathy comes to bed shortly after the dogs and complains that she has no where to put her feet. She wrestles the covers and nudges dogs hoping they roll over onto me which often they do. Having large dogs sleep on your legs is like having a stack of electric quilts and a boat anchor holding you in bed only without the electricity or the boat. It certainly does not encourage getting out of bed, rolling over, or doing anything conjugal. Next the cat wanders into the bed room. Both dogs stretch their necks pondering a chase but inevitability decide chasing the cat is not worth losing their valuable real estate on the bed. The cat then jumps onto the bed typically settling on top of my head ala Davy Crockett’s coon skin cap. Sometime between midnight and 2:30am, Evan sleepwalks into the bedroom, climbs over his mother, and cuddles up between the two of us. Later Amy comes into the room, shoves a dog more to the center of the bed, takes one of my two pillows, moves to the corner of the bed beneath Cathy’s feet, pulls the hospital corner out and gets under the covers between one dog, and Cathy’s feet. Flipping over, stretching legs, or working cramps out are out of the question.
Last night, that was our bed and I was dead to the world. For all I knew, I was alone. Until the shriek! The dogs and children had managed to short sheet us and it was cold! Cathy whined, no, almost screamed, "Give me a sheet!" I mutter under my breath and pretend to be asleep assuming a grown adult can get her own damned sheet. "AhhhahHHH! Get me a blanket!" she cried. For better or for worse. In sickness or health. For richer or poorer… Where the hell did it say anything about waking me from the deepest, best sleep of my life to walk to her side of the bed and cover her with a blanket?! I glowered at her; she writhed, whimpered, and cried and I caved but not without letting my displeasure be known. I rose with a grumble, squealed as my feet missed my slippers and landed on the cold concrete floor, muttered as I stomped to the chest of drawers on her side of the bed, cursed under my breath as I recovered a blanket, and said loving words as I covered her noting that I was still short sheeted and exposed to the basement chill. I returned to my side of the bed, pulled a dog over me, and blacked out.