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A Soldier’s Bed
A Nighted Reverie: Gun Bunker, Maryland, 6/20/2022
© 2022 James LaFond
DEC/7/22
written from memory a week later
“James,” said Brett, with a proud tone in his voice, This is your room tonight. I’m sleeping on the couch.”
“I sleep fine on couches, man.”
“No way, James. Not having it. You’ve got my bed tonight. Clean sheets—and look, you’ve got Jesus watching over you!” as he points to a classic picture of Jesus in a standup picture frame on his small nightstead.
“I know you don’t know how to use the AR, but I know your packing something, and you have my grandpop there too, James,” he said pointing to the picture of his mothers father in military uniform from another rage.
“Thanks, Brett, I’ll sleep fine.”
“You should keep the door closed so that the cat won’t bother you. She’s nosy and we have to have one out here in the country or we’ll be overrun, she kills every night, always hunting.”
“I like the mattress on the floor, in the corner like that.”
“I know, James. That’s how you slept at Sensie Steve’s place, remember, my dad and I helped you move in. In case there is incoming fire, I’m a foot below the window, have my back to the inner barrier, and can be right on whoever comes through the door, and from a low angle. What’s the best knife for that, James?”
“Arkansas Toothpick, best low gate blade for camping, sleeping or general mayhem.”
“Okay, James, thanks. I need a dedicated home blade.”
“Well, you have a good night, James and if you need anything I’ll be on the couch at the bottom of the stairs. I won’t worry when you get up to hit the head—I’m used to living with old guys. Besides, you know that most of them men I serve with in the reserves, they were active duty combat, they’re all older. My sergeant was a sergeant in the marines, saw action in Iraq. It’s so cool having experienced men to learn from. They show me a lot. I think I’m going to set up a sniper hide outside, dad says its alright. I’d like to make E-S before my enlistment is up. Right now I’m an E-4.”
“That’s great, man. Are you considering staying in for a while?”
“Maybe. But you know Mom and Dad are worried about what if the shit hits the fan and I have to go into combat. I am really looking forward to my next deployment. Were going to Bosnia, to train with their military.”
“Well, we’ll have to get in some sparring and maybe video a couple of fights before I head west.”
“Sure thing, James. Erik will be good and up for videoing that. Sleep well, James.”
“Thanks, Brett.”
“Oh, thank YOU, James. It means a lot that you’re here. Good night.”
I like mattresses on hard wood floors for sleeping. This twin bed had green sheets, a pillow with matching case and a green U.S. ARMY throw-style blanket, perfect for the cool summer night.
The bedstead next to my head appears to be an old record turntable and speaker cabinet without doors.
Beyond that, in the outer corner next to the window, is the AR.
To the right of the window is a small apartment style fridge, under some clothing totes, next to a small light desk and chair with shelves above—a fittingly spartan room.
There is a closet door that would back onto the bathroom down the hall, on this side of the second story of the house where the smaller rooms are. The carpet was clean and the bed firm.
I slept well, waking ten minutes before 7:00 A M, not having used an alarm to wake on time since I gave up extreme sleep deprivation as lifestyle in 2018. the Man in the Hat said we were leaving at 7 for his daily ride into Baltimore, so, I woke ten minutes earlier.
Brett was waiting at the base of the stairs to inquire if I needed a drink, how I slept, and to shake my hand.
If we still had knights, that fought duels and battles and lived by a code of honor, Brett would be one.
The Last Stand     ‹   the man cave   ›     Into Baltimore

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