And there it was, through the struggle of the night, another long Goldilocks night where I’m too hot, I’m too cold, but oh, please, bring me just right…. I awoke in the middle of the night and remembered that story I used to tell myself when I was little. Actually, I was telling my stuffed animals, for they were good listeners, but I am getting ahead of myself.
My brother and I went from cribs to bunk beds, nothing in between. Brother got the bottom bunk which means I got the top. It was so high up, though, and Mom was worried about me falling out of bed. Dad had every Craftsman tool known to man (or at least it seemed that way to a little girl who liked following him around, wanting to help spackle or anything else he thought I was capable of doing.) Dad brought home a ginormous piece of wood, longer than the bunk bed and thicker than a pizza box. He drew lines and sawed the ends into curves, sanded, then he varnished the shit out of that thing which stunk to high heaven and set off my asthma, naturally. When it was done, he fitted the smooth, dark wood piece over the edges of my bunk so that it would keep me from falling out during the night.
I accumulated stuffed animals over the years and I lined them up, just so, at the head of my bed. They were my cabinet, my aides du camp, the only thing helping me through Godzilla / tornado dreams — or worse. Mom used to read us bedtime stories like an orator on a stage, me high in the balcony. I used to make up stories as I lay in the laps of my dear stuffed animals, and they listened. And I remembered one of those stories last night. You know. It’s the one about the dragons.
My goal is to write the story today. I don’t know what I will do with it when it’s done. There are so many places I could hobble up to and beg they take my paltry thing and publish it. But it all starts here. In my bed. The place where I still sleep with dragons.