Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Memory Day: The Safe Spot

I had a very cool bed as a child. Where some kids slept in racecars or My Little Pony stables, my twin bed had a captain's wheel as the headboard. When my mom would sing songs to my sister and I before we went to bed, the wheel would often be a prop in the reenactment of the song about the galleon and the guy thrown overboard for his love. This bed was fairly high off the ground, because underneath it was an old-fashioned trundle bed which was only put into service at Christmas time when relatives filled up my sister's room.

Sometime towards the end of elementary school, the trundle bed was thrown out to make room for storage -- billions of crates filled with Legos in their original boxes and game boxes for Infocom and Sierra classics. At this time, my bed was up against the corner of the room, so I arranged the boxes underneath to create a little secret room. This was my "secret" place where no one else ever came, where I could be alone with my thoughts or read a book. Though the ceiling height (2 feet) didn't measure up for luxury, my under-the-bed-room had all the amenities, from a blanket on the ground to a clip-on lamp for light. A double-decker cassette player (pink because it used to be my sister's) provided the ambient music, and a Costco (then Price Club) supply of Bubble Yum Grape Gum completed the picture, although tragically there was no adjoining bathroom.

This was my safe spot, the place where childhood angst and monsters couldn't get to me, and even after I grew to my current gargantuan height I continued to crawl under the bed well into junior high school, even though I could barely navigate the cramped secret entrance between the Lego El Dorado Fortress and the Lego Car Wash. Long before multimedia became a buzzword, I was in my safe spot on a rainy afternoon, reading Dances with Wolves while listening to the soundtrack and blowing gigantic bubbles, much like the Indians probably did. Where was your childhood safe spot?

Happy Birthday Becky Durham!

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