When I asked people to tell stories about their mornings, it didn’t surprise me that a frequent centerpiece was the bed. What did surprise me was how often the bed was the subject, not the object, of the stories they told. It was a sometime friend, a sometime antagonist. It wasn’t just a vessel for sleep; it was a safe harbor, a secret-keeper.
For most of us, the bed is where we start our mornings. Whether it’s an oasis of tranquility or a battleground where pets and partners and kids compete for our space, it’s our beginning. It defines us so much that if we’re in a bad mood, someone will say we got out on the wrong side of it. These six stories, all from different authors about their own morning experiences, show us that you can’t talk about the morning without beginning with the bed. — From the Editor, Evyn Williams
A ray of light leaks through the blinds and assaults my eyelids. I turn my body, breaking the seal of my warm imprint on the bed. A looming glow invades the room; darkness turns to soft shadows. A low-level crisis begins. The day is about to break free.
I scramble. Take hold of my majestic blanket. Envelop myself in it like a warm hug. A leg escapes from under the covers, hoping to find the perfect balance of warmth and coolness.
All I want at this moment is to binge watch my dreams and sleep for a thousand years. But then I hear tiny footsteps against the wood floor.
Before I can open my eyes, a little hand clasps my face. “Dada,” I hear and I scoop up a small body that smells of doughy sweetness. She climbs my body as if it were a jungle gym. She squeezes herself between my wife and me. We both clamber to wrap our arms around her. Make claims on her soft, petite body. But she is a harbinger of the morning. We instantly realize our mistake as she thrashes about, wreaking havoc on the small chance of remaining asleep.
I bury my face in my pillow, throw the covers over my head, but I am outnumbered. My four-year-old bounces on the bed like a trapeze artist and my wife declares it a glorious morning. There is no salvation, no sanctuary, no…