a sleepover in 1995

I’ll start by remembering the comforter. The fabric was coarse, and it had a pattern spread across a faded yellow background.  Maybe it was beige, but it felt more like the color of old newspaper.  Anyway, the pattern I remember was smears of pastel colors all over, as if someone had taken a brittle paint brush and made some half-hearted attempt at a design.

There was wallpaper in our room of multi-colored ballerinas. I’d fixate on one girl (brunette bun, blonde bun, red-head bun) at a time; as if they could come alive and twirl across the parts that were peeled back from bored curiosity.

Mandy was in the room with me, she is my twin sister. She had one leg dangling over the other; her foot bobbed up and down, and a book was pressed to her face. She was reading because that’s what she always did back then, she read everything. When she was reading you had to take care not to interrupt her.

Sam was in the room with me too, she is our younger cousin (two years apart), but we’d never acknowledge this. As far as we were concerned, we were triplets.

One of the windows of our bedroom was open. The crickets were always so loud you’d swear one was in the room. I don’t know if summer has a sound, but you could hear that too. It was always a little sticky, but as a kid I never minded sticky. Everything felt like I was inside a cocoon.

Parents interrupted our shroud of delusion. I always remember the feeling like our world was impenetrable, until a parent would open the door and say something like, “Brush your teeth!” or “Time for bed!”

Announcing some sort of snack time, lunch, or dinner was completely acceptable.

That time it was the ever disappointing, “Brush your teeth.” We did as we were told. Bubble gum sparkle tooth paste flavor bomb hit my mouth, and I recall solemnly staring at Big Bird’s face on the bottle.

When we were in bed, the room was dark except for Henry’s Moon; a night light of a little boy sitting in a moon above our bed. Mandy fell asleep first, and Sam and I pretended we were characters from the Lion King until we found ourselves unable to keep our eyes open.

It’s my present belief that while playing Simba; I really did sound exactly like Jonathan Taylor Thomas.


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