I woke up in a good mood this morning. And I went to bed in a good mood last night, in large part because I have a love affair with our bed. Some of my affection has to do with the setting. Our bedroom is on the third floor of the house. It used to be the attic. Orange shag carpet ran up the stairs, the paneled walls and the gable ceilings, overstock put to work by the previous owner from his day job as a salesman at Carpet Carousel. When we had kittens, they liked to climb the walls up there. But when we decided we wanted to have another baby, our third, it meant reclaiming the attic for a master bedroom. We jacked up the roof, slicing it off the ninety-year-old house like the top layer of a cake, the joists groaning and the walls undulating as nine decades of torque unspooled. The raised roof was high enough for an eight-foot-tall Palladian window at one end of the room. From our bed, we look out through the treetops; the room takes on seasonal hues of yellow in fall, green in spring or summer, gray-blue in winter.
Our staircases are too narrow to thread even a queen size mattress through the twists and turns, but facing another pregnancy with two young children who tended to show up in the middle of the night and want to snuggle in, I was determined to get a king size bed up to our new room. The mattress was delivered when the window was framed, before the glass unit was installed. The job foreman and two delivery guys hoisted it up and through the window with pulleys and rope. We had that mattress for almost two decades when two years ago we realized perhaps our nighttime tossing and morning aches had something to do with wear. Out with the old (literally, our neighbor Andy came over to help us lash it in half, then shove it out the window), in with the new: a “bed-in-a-box” from internet retailer Nest Bedding. We weren’t sure about buying a mattress online so we visited their brick and mortar SoHo showroom when we were down in New York; although they have a generous trial policy, we knew that once the thing bounced out of the box, like snakes out of a trick can, there was no turning back.
We got the “Hybrid” model: latex memory foam on a coil foundation, so it’s supple but firm, smooshy and body-conforming, yet bouncy. It came in a box approximately the size of a tall dorm fridge – who’d have thought you could fit such comfort in a packing box? When I wake up each day, I look out the window at the trees and sky as I float in our cloud bed, and I ponder how very I lucky I am to have a bed at all, let alone one with pillows galore and clean sheets, a plump duvet all cocooning me in a nurturing embrace. I remind myself that so many people don’t have the luxury of a comfortable night’s sleep – they rest on a hard, prison bunk or a swept dirt floor, on a woven fabric cot or a lumpy old mattress riddled with bed bugs.
And every night when I climb back into the Nest to read before falling asleep, I feel grateful all over again.