Monday, June 05, 2006

Last Night I Couldn't Sleep, So I Got Thinking About Beds...

(Edit: This post sounded so much better as I wrote it in my head while insomnia walked through my head.)

Ever notice how signficant the role of the bed is in a relationship? And no, I am not stating the obvious (get your dirty little minds out of the gutter), although that does come into it, but just a little.

Our bed is a standard double size wooden futon type thing. PurpleSimon will know what I mean. It came flatpacked and Kate assembled it herself.

What has always filled me with awe, is how this standard double bed can magically change its size in accordance with relationship circumstances and random cosmic events that no one can explain.

Here's an example: the bed stretches to king sized when we have gone to bed without clearing up a disagreement, as we each huddle in our respective corners. Or, the bed shrinks when Kate has gone to bed first and has transformed herself into a sprawling, unmovable mass. On those nights, the bed becomes only big enough for an arm and a leg, with just two square inches of duvet for cover.

And then there is the time when she is away and her side of the bed becomes a chasm the size of Siberia. Sometimes, her scent still lingers on the covers and the emptiness seems even more vast.

Her side of the bed. My side of the bed.

My side has always been the right side of the bed. With anyone I have shared a bed with. It is most strange. It seems taboo to cross the invisible divide to sleep on your partner's side of the bed when she's not there. It doesn't feel right, somehow. Could it be because it's not just her scent that remains when she has left, but an imprint of her energy, and stepping into that would be a violation?

It is only when we are holding each other in our bed on the first night Kate comes back from London, that we both feel she has truly come home. It is where our time starts each day. We have had long, lazy weekends where we've propped ourselves up on pillows to read and listen to music. We have passionate embraces and tender hugs on that bed. We laugh and cry there. Mostly laugh.

It has been the scene of a hissy argument and a sanctuary for each of us while we nursed illness.
When Mischa first arrived from Cats Protection, she lived most of her days under our bed. In fact, our bed has held up to four cats at a time, each sleeping on a mound of duvet or caught in a shaft of sun. Usually it's just one. Usually Noodle. But at weekends, we are joined by Noodle and The Two Headed Cat.

When you look at our room there isn't much there. The bed, chest of drawers, night stand, pile of books on my side. Photos of Kate and I as a couple on the walls. A photo of her semi naked on the wall. Yet, we have woven the fabric of our relationship here. We have lived so much within those four walls. We've grown and hurt and filled it with love.


  1. Oh wow, that was such a great post. I've never had a specific "side", I used to need to be furthest from the door, after having my first daughter, it changed to closest to the door.

  2. I had a comment all written, and Blogger encountered an "unexpected error".

    This is an interesting idea to consider, Tanya... and it sounds great as it is. I can't imagine how it must've sounded in your head (but that happens to me nearly all the time).

  3. Well from someone who sleeps alone... I do sprawl out but have my side, the side nearest the door and on the left if you stand at the foot of the bed (facing the bed) so I guess that's the right? uuurgh I'm confused!

    The right will be for my partner, whether he likes it or not! teehehe

  4. I used to sleep on the right when I lived alone - although usually ended up diagonally across the whole bed! Now I have the left as that's the side the cats like ('cos it's near the door) and my man hates having the cats on his side...

    Truth is the cats have the WHOLE left side of the bed and we squeeze onto the rest ;>