Bunk Beds.

Posted: August 17, 2016 in Uncategorized

My brother, Mark, was my first roommate.
Neither of us really had a choice in the matter. He just moved in one day. I had my own crib for two years…literally. Then, one cold November day, my parents brought home my brother. We were roomies from then on. We shared a space for 16 years.
At some point in the early 70s, we ended up with bunk beds.
Bunk beds, they are the space saving furniture choice of the Army, summer camps, prisons and our parents. They bought the bunk beds for 50 bucks from some friends.
We really didn’t mind.
It gave us room for activities.
The bed didn’t have a ladder. Mark’s legs were a little longer than mine. (They still are). So he got the top bunk. He had to use a kitchen chair to get up and down.
It took me a while to stop hitting my head on the top bunk every time I got up. I was tempted to sleep with my football helmet on.
At one point, we had sheets with big yellow smiley faces. We tastefully decorated our beds with bumper stickers that we got every year at the Tulsa State Fair. We had bumper stickers advertising the National Guard, and my favorite radio station, KELi (1430 on the dial). We had KISS Army stickers, we had Charlie’s Angels stickers. It was a beautiful, chaotic exercise in self expression. About, every 7 or 8 months we would redecorate by covering old stickers with shiny new ones. By the time we were in our late teens, the beds were mainly composed of stickers.
Strange noxious odors emitted from our bunk bed. The fragrant combination of sweat, chili dogs, crawdads, fireworks and feet.
The bunk bed was more about story than sleep.
We created some amazing stories.
There was a lot of farting (real and fake) and giggling and giggling about farting.
There were late night talks about girls and dreams and parental injustice. Mark would poke his head over the edge and we would fight sleep with crucial conversations about snakes and go-carts and front yard football.
It was in the bunk bed that I discovered that anything can be art. I would lay in bed at night and pick my nose. I created a panoramic sculpture of the great smoky mountains entirely out of boogers. My parents were pretty ticked about that. Artists are always misunderstood. Mark supported my artistic endeavors, I think he was just relieved that he didn’t get blamed.
It was our holding cell on Christmas Eve until we were sure the folks were in bed and we went snooping.
There were fights about things that have been long forgotten. We threw things at each other. We drew lines and made threats.
We planned adventures and schemed about ways to get our sister into trouble.
We bonded.
A friendship was forged. It lasts today. My brother is one of my best friends. He always will be. We don’t see each other as often as I’d like. But, the bond is eternal.
Eventually, we broke up the bunk.
My brother moved out, and I took one of the beds to Virginia. When, I got married, we ended up selling the bed to our friend Dena.
Those 50 dollar bunk beds were a bargain. Not only did they give us room for activities, They created space for really cool stories and sweet dreams.
Good night John Boy.

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