I've got a shoulder bud and a friend of the foot when I lie on my back: the fat tab on my shoulder, the eighty–pound golden pinning my feet. They're strictly don't–invite–`ems, so Samantha, the tabby, occupies the North Country while Bev faces south. We fall asleep like that, and when I awake, they're in the same place.
My son, twenty–five and estranged for four years, chose the tabby fifteen years back; my ex–wife picked the golden. They're soft and warm and smell bakery–good. Samantha licks my hands like a mama cat, and in the morning Bev nuzzles my cheek. I give her two Cheese Bobs from a box on the nightstand, then she lays back down on my feet, as I've taught her, and I give her two more. My reaching jostles Sam, but she's a sweetheart and settles back in. I'm so grateful I bury my face in her fur.
I have snacks of my own on the nightstand, and the laptop's there, too, so I can read the sports without getting up. And I never drink anything after eight at night so I won't have to get up in the morning to pee.
The bed is our island, our magic carpet. Samantha's a slab of concrete on my chest, Bev's a horse on my feet - no way I can get up. Every morning I lie in suspense, wondering when they're gonna move, praying they won't.
27 March 2014