When I was growing up, and someone would come into school maimed or a cousin would show up at a family gathering with a black eye or a facial bruise, I knew exactly what had gone wrong. Should my cousin have a minor concussion, I knew instantly what went wrong. I was an expert at these matters—the matters of rolling out of bed. In my world, rolling out of bed was the biggest fear for children. Adults had their lay-offs, hangovers and firings; we had our uninvited pool boners, our training bras and our rolling out of bed.
My cousins rolled out the bed constantly. And the boys had bunk beds so you can probably imagine the type of injuries they sustained rolling off a 5+ foot tall bunk bed in the middle of the night. Ronnie would hit the ground and wake up on impact, but not before, never before. Bed rolling was something to dread. It was something to fear. And I knew that, contrary to popular belief, the boogieman didn’t live under the bed or in your closet waiting to eat us, the boogieman slept next to us and rolled us out of bed at night all the while he was laughing.
Due to all the injuries my cousins sustained, I was terrified of rolling out of bed. I would have nightmares about it. I suffered from such a tragedy at least once a month. Some folks dream about falling from airplanes and cliffs, I dreamed I had rolled out of bed.
The other night, I was sitting around remembering the fear of rolling out of bed, and it occurred to me that I never once had. Not once, did I wake up with a carpet burn. Not once, did I break a tooth or fall from my nightly slumbering. I may grit my teeth and snore, but I don’t move very much. I’m just not a tosser. Perhaps the boogieman thought me stinky.
I no longer worry about rolling out of bed. The fear of such hasn’t crossed my mind in years up until last night. I no longer worry about getting some rug burn, or, in our case, getting clawed to death by a cat who happened to cushion the fall. Now, I worry about things like being able to pay my taxes, finding a good job, my friends and family, and being able to afford a house someday.
I put a call in to the boogieman and asked him to pay us a visit. It’s Spring, after all, and I’m tired of all this real worry. I told him that his visit is long overdue and he simply must give me something easy to dread, something humorous and youthful, something I can shake off in the morning when I brush my teeth.