Saturday, May 21, 2005

Places Where I've Slep

Womb, bassinet, crib, playpen, my mother's arms. A bunk bed, single bed, double bed, queen, king. Sleeper sofa, hospital bed, feather tick, cot, sleeping bag, lawn chair looking up at the stars, air mattress, the hard ground when the air leaked out inside my tent. The back seat of a station wagon at the drive-in movie when I was a kid. The water bed of a motel with my wife when we were younger.

Inside a leaky tent in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota while a fierce thunderstorm toppled a three-story tree five feet away. I slept all of two hours that night. On the floor of a cabin in front of a blazing fire. Slept much better that night but it got cold when the fire went out. In a tent under the northern lights on Isle Royale.

An AMTRAK "sleeper" car that shook and rattled as it rolled. A feather bed at Yellowstone Lodge to the sound of geysers erupting. At an old captain's house made a bed and breakfast along the coast of Maine. The sound of the waves mixed with a chorus of coyotes and seabirds there.

A high-rise Manhattan Hotel with a view of nearby Times Square and people roaming at any hour of the night. The Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, a glorious hostel so old it is mentioned by the early 1900 characters of The Music Man. A KOA camping cabin in the White Mountains prior to my climb of Mt. Washington when I turned 50.

A pop-up camper when I was a teen. I remember hugging my dog one night after he found his way back to the campground after becoming lost in a nearby town. A fifth wheel recreation vehicle near Superstition Mountain where the sound of generators at the trailer park ran till way past dark.

My mother-in-law's trailer in Key Largo where a falling coconut dropping on the roof sounded like a bomb going off. Dixie Landings Resort at Disneyworld. though not till after midnight since I had to find my teenage sons who became lost after returning late one night. Also Animal Kingdom Lodge at Disneyworld while zebras, giraffes and wildebeast roamed the grounds outside.

But I've never slept in a hammock. Or on a plane. Or a boat or ship or a barn. Or all night under the stars. Neither in a moviehouse, concert hall or at work. Also not on a bed leaves. Or off the beaten trail in the wilderness. Nor in a foreign land other than Canada. Not on silk or satin. Or on the sands of a beach.

So much time I've spent sleeping. So many places yet to go.