I spent the night outside last night. The house reeked of carpet and tile cleaning chemicals and both the house and the garaged smelled of the supposedly odor-free pesticide. Although I had an offer of a place to spend the night, I didn’t want to leave and close the place up. I might never have gotten rid of the hodgepodge of odors.
(Had to take a quick detour to look up the etymology of hodgepodge — it comes from a fourteenth century term hotchpot, referring to a stew. Now it means any sort of confused mixture of unrelated items.)
First of all, I used the same makeshift bed I slept on the night before in the garage, so I was quite comfortable. Second, I slept on the patio, which sort of defeated the purpose of sleeping under the stars. Third, without my glasses, I couldn’t see the stars anyway, just the twilight haze of the ever-lit city sky.
I suppose it was the matter-of-factness of the experience that made it an adventure of sorts. I don’t remember ever sleeping outside before. I slept in a tent a couple of nights when I was in sixth grade, but that was so long ago I don’t even remember doing so. (Though I do remember a particular winding turn when all I could see out the window was the floor of the canyon far below. I felt sure my father was about to drive us off the cliff).
It wasn’t particularly cold here, but even if it were, I’d have been okay. I used my parent’s duvet so I was warm, even hot.
Apparently, as long as I am comfortable, I can sleep anywhere. At least, I hope so since I haven’t any idea where I will be sleeping once this house is sold.
As for the duvet — Since none of my siblings wanted it, I’d planned to keep it in my car for emergencies. I took off the exceedingly heavy cover, but duvet itself is white, which isn’t exactly practical for outside use — it costs a fortune to clean such a thing. I suppose I could just keep it until it got dirty and then toss it out. Or if it’s still clean when I get a sleeping bag, I could donate the duvet to a thrift store.
I sure will be glad when these silly little decisions have all been made and I am conundrum-free!
At least tonight I don’t have to decide where to sleep. The house seems aired out now, and I can spend the night in my usual bed. The stars will have to fend for themselves.
Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.