Day 196 – The Sweat Box

Last night while lying in bed looking into the darkness I became rather chatty.  I have to have a fan in the room in order to sleep, if I don’t, then I have to find some kind of steady noise to offset the silence. I usually listen to the static sound of an air-purifier every night.

Last night I just could not settle down allowing my thoughts to become random.  Only I could lie in a dark room on a $2500 Tempurpedic mattress and wonder out loud to my husband, “I wonder whatever happened to waterbeds?”   haha

I had a waterbed once.  It sat about 3 foot off the ground in a custom frame built by my mothers boyfriend. That damn bed took up my entire room! I’m not even kidding, y’all.  We lived in a very tiny trailer and my room was the size of a standard walk-in closet. That’s why the bed had to be built-  my room wasn’t big enough for a regular sized twin bed.  The waterbed bed was built in a way that allowed one of my walls to become part if its frame.  Basically my bed was a big water balloon housed by a three-sided wooden frame shoved against the wall and it didn’t have a heater. At first I thought that was going to be a horrible thing but it turned out to be a blessing.

Our trailer didn’t have an air conditioner which made living in a metal box hotter than hell itself!  Funny how people get bent out of shape for others leaving their kids in a locked car on a hot day… WHAT ABOUT TRAILER PARK KIDS, MAN??? I’ve never seen anyone try to rescue one of us from the large sweat boxes we were forced to live in. There were days too where I thought I might be near death because of the heat.  No joke. I’d open every slatted window and door trying to eliminate some of the heat. I’d also run a bath full of cold water and lie in it until my body temperature cooled.  I’d get out but I’d leave the water because I knew I’d be back in it shortly.  In and out of that water I’d hop until I went to bed.  The worst heat came at night after the sun was going down.  The heat that was absorbed all day by the ground radiated upward and bounced off of other trailers I guess because it was miserable!  My mother would add the heat of cooking dinner to the trailer -which was made my responsibility.  Back then everything was fried too! If it was 95 outside, the heat index inside was 115!!

Bedtime was always fun.  As I said, we didn’t have ac so I made one!  My windows consisted of several slats of glass without a screen.  The slats opened with a little crank but I lost my crank and had to turn it with a pair of vice-grips.     I took a box fan and held it up on the metal lip of my window and used a bungee cord to hold it in place by attaching its clips onto the metal frame between the slats of glass.  I would lie on that cold waterbed mattress with that fan blowing on me and for the most part it worked pretty good. Only down side came in the morning when I woke up to chopped bugs all over me.  Yeah– I know its gross, but what was I supposed to do?  It was either deal with being covered with the body parts of nighttime bugs that got sucked up into my fan or die of a heat stroke at the age of 12.  So maybe this is why I still sleep with a fan on at night. Who knows?

You would think that a cold waterbed would be bad in the winter- – nope!  Again, it was a blessing.  Our trailer had two bedrooms; mine, which was in the middle, and my moms, that was all the way in the back. The gas furnace was beside my room. When I say “beside,” what I really mean is that one of my four walls was actually the furnaces wall too.  My mother would freeze in the back of the trailer so she would crank the heat up… yep. Heat stoke hot.   My mother had so many damn houseplants and everyone that came over went on and on about how lush and beautiful they were.   It was always on the tip of my tongue to say, “Well no shit they are lush and beautiful because all year round they live on the freaking island of Jamaica- pot plants included!”  The only thing that stopped me from being so colorful with my words was the thought of my mother trying to make me eat the soap that had melted in the heat. I could see her now spooning it up and trying to feed it to me.  hahaha…  Yeah, that’s right– we had liquid soap before it was manufactured into decorative plastic bottles to sit beside your sink.

There are so many funny stories I could tell you about that trailer and about the trailer park where it sat propped up on concrete blocks.  I just don’t have the time to do so right now.  But I will- –


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