Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Under The Bed

Today, The Husband was searching for his ski clothes. They are in a plastic tote somewhere. We checked the closets. We checked the attic. We checked under the bed. No plastic tote with ski clothes.

However, he did pull out two boxes full of my old t-shirts. Apparently my t-shirt collection had grown so much at one point I had to put them under the bed. There were all kinds of t-shirts that I remembered owning, but hadn't thought about in a long, long time. It's like getting new clothes.

One box is full of "collectable" t-shirts, shirts I have for their memory value. My original Star Wars, Battlestar Gallactica, and Star Trek shirts are in there -- they look "vintage", like the ones sold now as "new vintage" in Target. There are band t-shirts and chorus t-shirts. There are even a few from working the Ren faire and various charity haunted houses. You know, T shirts I can't actualy wear, but I want to keep them anyway.

Just a few days ago I found a plastic tote of old video tapes I'd been looking for under the bed. I have a (really warped from my ancient VCR) recording of Whoopie Goldberg's Broadway show HBO special. I've been hunting all over for that, and it's going to DVD as soon as I can settle down to do it. There are a ton of old 80's movies in there, too. I was a rabid movie taper back in the day. Unfortunately, my VCR didn't track well, and so most of them don't have synced sound/video. Oh Well.

And currently there are at least two, possibly three, cats under the bed because we just had a loud thunderstorm.

As a kid, I loved Under the Bed. It was my retreat, my storage locker, my hiding spot. It was dark and quiet and people could not easily find me. Whenever the pressures of my little world got too much to bear, I'd go under the bed with my Barbies and some dust bunnies.

When I was, oh, probably four years old, maybe five, I saw the Wizard of Oz for the first time. The Wicked Witch didn't bother me -- I knew how to deal with her, after all. A little water, and phhhzzzt -- no Witch. No, it was that Tin Man who got to me. I didn't buy his sweet, gentle exterior. He was hard and metalic and whiny. Obviously, he was dangerous.

One day, during one of our Florida thunderstorms, I was hiding under the bed -- I hadn't been through too many of those storms at that age -- and I could hear what sounded just like giant metalic footsteps stomping the houses of our little suburban neighborhood. I knew it was a huge Tin Man coming. The only safe place was under the bed. I remember climbing out and running to our tiny kitchen where my mother was doing something, and begging her to hide under the bed with me so she'd be safe. I was really insistant, and kept asking her if she didn't hear the footsteps, which were getting louder and closer and faster, ringing in my little ears. Then she knelt down and told me what I was hearing was my own heartbeat. She put my hand against my chest so I could feel it, and it exactly matched those footsteps. And the storm was over quickly, as they tend to end, just some desultory rumbles and the trickling of the water off the roof.

Strange, now that I think on it, that the Tin Man wanted a heart and it was my own heart that made me afraid of him. There's something symbolic in there I could tease out if I really wanted, but I have to go through all these t-shirts. I need the space under the bed in case I need to hide, and the boxes take up too much room, what with the cats under there, too.

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