Growing up, I wanted a bunk bed. It didn’t matter that my room was no bigger than a postage stamp (somehow this was true in all three of the houses I lived in as a child), or maybe it was because of the diminutive size of my room, but regardless, I wanted that damn bunk bed.
I knew exactly which one I would get if I was allowed to have it, the one in dark wood with the fringe hanging down from the top bunk. You know the fringe, like a tassel on a graduation cap, but covering the entire bottom half of the top bunk and gnarly as all get out. I wanted the fancy bottom bunk that wasn’t even a bed, just a desk, or a space for a beanbag, or even the seventh circle of hell. I wasn’t particular.
And I would sleep up top, after climbing the seemingly endless stairs to get up there, past the boogeyman (who hung out in my closet), and whatever else would somehow materialize in my way to stop me from getting as high as I could in this world. I would often stand on my bed (carefully, so as not to cause it to creak and alert my mom to the precarious position I was in) and gaze down at the world from that perch, imagining I was in my top bunk.
If I had that bunk bed I was going to play space invaders, with my He-Men and G.I. Joe figurines as stand ins for Kirk and Spock. I was going to drape my blanket over my entire body and pretend I was invisible. I was going to rig up a rope ladder over the edge and pretend I was descending Rapunzel’s hair after being her spectacularly heroic savior. I had so many plans, but they all lived right there in my head and went no further.
Because there was absolutely no chance I would ever get that bunk bed. Because bunk beds were expensive, and I was lucky enough to have a twin size bed that hadn’t completely fallen apart. Because we lived in West Philly, and then Southwest Philly, and the move from one to the other wasn’t quite a step up in class. Because my mother had so many other things to worry about besides helping me play space invaders from the dangerous confines of the space at the top of my room.
But it didn’t stop me from dreaming, from imagining how it would have been. It didn’t stop me from creating whole worlds that I alone lived in, that no one else was privy to, and that revolved completely around me. I loved those times, and sometimes, late at night, I reminisce about all the things that would have happened if I had gotten that bunk bed. But I also think about how boring the reality of that dream would have been had I eventually gotten it.
Sometimes the imagination of the thing is so much more satisfying than the thing itself.
5 thoughts on “Bunk Bed Theory”
I love this! I never got the bedroom setup I wanted as a kid either. (money was also tight in my home) And now, I kind of want a princess bed for my daughter AND you can by hell bet I’ll be sleeping in it from time to time and insisting on being called Cinderella for the evening 😂
Sometimes we just have to do those kinda things 😉
Of course neither of my children has shown the slightest interest in wanting bunk beds. Otherwise I would certainly live vicariously through them.
You go get that princess bed for yourself (I mean, for your daughter)! How often does anyone get to be Cinderella after all?
Thanks for the comment!
Absolutely. Great post! 😎
Great writing. The story is nicely told. It flows naturally.
I had a bunk bed as a kid. I slept on the top one. My sister had the bottom bunk. She used to lay on her back and, with her legs, push against the twin-sized box-spring-like mattress of the top bunk causing the top mattress to rise a few inches. We thought it was hilarious and fun, until one day that box-spring-like mattress fell on her. LOL!
It was hysterical. She wasn’t hurt.
Anyway, great post.
Keep it up.
Thank you very much. It’s funny that I went to a boarding school that had bunk beds and I always ended up on the bottom bunk for some reason. That’s a funny story about your sister. I wish mine had fallen like that! Thanks for stopping by!