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The Murphy Bed

Thanks to google images for the use of this photo

Looking back, I don't know why my parents would have expected anything less from me. When you tell a child "Don't" you can bet he or she will, and so it was with me.

Mom said, " Anna you're too inquisitive."

She was right. I didn't like being told NO or YOU CAN'T. It was my Achilles' Heel. I wanted to know the Why's and How's of everything.

Like "Why" couldn't my siblings and I play on the old Murphy bed and "How" did it close itself up? We'd been told it was "Too dangerous" to play on, but it didn't quite penetrate the part of my brain which screamed, YOU'D BETTER LISTEN.

My parents were sleeping on it at nighttime, while visiting our grandparents; they didn't get hurt. Maybe it was mom and dads way of keeping Tom, Nancy and me from jumping up and down on it. Oh how I wanted to jump up and down on that old bed! It was the dwelling on that particular thought which got me into trouble.

My grandparents and parents were on the frontporch sipping coffee when I snuck back into the basement. Once there I stopped, cocked an ear towards the top of the stairs and listened to make sure all was clear. Then with a hop, I pulled the Murphy bed down.

Thing is, once I climbed up on it, it didn't seem so bouncy. Still I was game, and began jumping. Boing, boing, boing...wee-e-e. The mattress might have looked like a dud, but it wasn't.

I was laughing and laughing...jumping and jumping, when all of a sudden the bed and I were propelled towards the bed's enclosure. In those few seconds of suspended animation, it became "Quite" clear why we weren't supposed to play on the old Murphy bed.

I now know what a bug feels like when it hits a windshield going 55 mph. I was in a world of hurt and I was being squished to death by the mattress. My young life flashed before my eyes...I thought I was dying.

I wouldn't grow up and get married. I wouldn't have children, urmmm, okay maybe that wasn't so bad considering what I'd just done. Still, I wouldn't get to experience life as an adult. I started yelling with what little breath was left in me.


Was that feet I heard approaching? Down goes the bed and with nothing to hold me in place I go down too. Tom and Nancy laughed, mom and dad fumed and my grandparents fused about me, trying to make sure nothing on my body was broken.

I'd like to say my inquisitive nature ended that morning, but it didn't. However, I didn't jump on that old Murphy bed anymore.

The sound of laughter and something else shakes me from those old memories. My sons enter the livingroom and I'm struck by how much my youngest (Alan) reminds me of myself. Especially with the family's fish bowl stuck on his head.       

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