Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Sawing Logs

You awake?
Long before I ever shared a bed with my wife, I was sharing sleeping quarters with my brothers. Sometimes it was bunk beds, other times it was a double bed in a motel, but we almost never got much rest because we were far too busy talking. Whispering. Laughing.
Don't make me come in there.
My older brother and I heard that threat countless times when we shared a room across the hall from my parent's bedroom. We were just clever enough to listen for the padding of my father's feet coming to our door to hush just before the door opened. We were pretty sure that if we were silent when he came in, there was no way he could prove that it was the two of us making all that noise in the middle of the night.
Just keep it down.
So we did. Mostly. There was still plenty of snickering and fake flatulence, but we did not want to find out just exactly what fate lay in store for us if we didn't knock it off. Mostly.
At our mountain cabin, all three of us boys slept in a loft above our parents' room. The silliness that went on between two of us was significant enough, but gathering all of us into the same place, tucked into our sleeping bags did very little to ensure a quiet night. Quite often we heard that same growl from down below, altered slightly for the geography.
Don't make me come up there.
This was just a little more intimidating, since there was a moment when we could hear my father thumping up the ladder that led to our lack-of-sleep-spot. His head would suddenly appear from that hole in the floor. We would react quickly by turning off our transistor radios or pushing our flashlights and comic books deep down into our sleeping bags.
Sorry dad.
And then it would be over. For another night. We would drift off with the mild terror we had brought on ourselves, and the smug assurance that we would have another chance to disrupt a good night's sleep again soon. It only occurs to me now that my father's prodigious snoring may have been his ultimate revenge. Nicely done, dad.

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