We huddled outside on the pavement, cursing the damp cold of the night and wishing we had the warmth of our beds instead of just the warmth of our bodies. The risk was too great to chance an escape back into comfort; we kept our distance, imagining with envy the sleepers in their homes around us, obliviously enjoying a privilege we had taken for granted. None of us could muster even the semblance of a good mood.
Presently, when it became apparent that the near future would not afford us an opportunity for return, our pack dissolved into looser gatherings that drifted off in search of safe lodging. Where was a dark place? A soft place? A quiet place? Was there even such a thing anymore? We hoped fervently, moving quickly to stake out our claims before others arrived. The compatriots we had, moments ago, felt as close to as only brothers and those in danger can were now competitors. Small spikes of adrenaline chased away the lethargy we had spent half the night building up in our slumber.
No, there was no perfect refuge to be found, but everyone willing to settle for less found a way to sneak into other residences and make space to lay down their tired bodies. A small number forewent sleeping quarters and chose to keep vigil while the rest of us lost consciousness; it was they who ushered us home later, still wretchedly lacking in rest. We had never had a worse night.