When I was a youngster, I believed monsters lived under my bed. There are a number of reasons why I thought such silly things. One is because I have always had a strong imagination. I am not an only child, but my siblings were all several years older than me. Because of our age differences, and the fact that my sister happened to be a girl, I mostly played by myself. I did have two imaginary friends who played with me. Actually, they never spoke to me, but I did to them. I’m not sure how old I was when I quit pretending to have those friends, but when Jean and I married she would not allow them to move in with us! Having a strong imagination kept me from being lonely in those early years. It has also helped me as a writer, storyteller, and songwriter.
Those older siblings were another reason I believed monsters lurked under my bed. They will delightfully tell you such things! The one I called Bubba, took great pleasure in trying to scare the devil out of me, and then tell me he was under my bed...the devil, not Bubba. I imagined all kinds of monsters and boogers living under there. I lived with great trepidation of getting too near the edge of the bed. I slept in the middle, with my head covered, so they couldn’t reach over and grab my leg or arm and drag me under, to never be seen or heard from again. My bed was an old iron-frame bed that set about a foot off the floor. Even though I stored a few toys and stray clothes under there, there was still plenty of room for some good-sized boogers to hide.
Bubba had an unusual talent. He could turn his eyelids wrong-side out. I still don’t know how he did it, but he could make the pink underside of his eyelids show. He thought it was funny...and I do now. We did not have light switches on the walls. Instead, we had pull strings that hung from the light fixture. The string in my bedroom hung over the middle of my bed, so I could not reach it without climbing on the bed. Sometimes when I pulled the string and the light came on, Bubba stood in the room with his eyelids turned wrong side out! I think he has grown out of such behavior now, and as I’ve grown older, and with good counseling, I’m much better!
Often, I ran through the dark and dove for the bed, hoping I could get in the bed before the monsters dragged me under and ate me alive...bones and all! Eventually, I came to realize there was nothing under my bed, but a couple of pairs of shoes, my lost shirt, and a stray sock. There were a few animals too, sometimes my cat Frosty and a few dust bunnies.
As we face the future, especially in light of this past year, it is easy to imagine all kinds of boogers out there. There are even some people who will tell us stories of what is coming and scare us half to death, if we allow them. Obviously, we can’t look into the future like we can look under the bed. We can; however, look in the Bible for some things to come. David said, in perhaps the most loved Psalm, “Yeah though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You (God) are with me, Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”
— Bill King is a native of Rainsville, where he and his wife graduated from Plainview High School. King is a director of missions in Opelika, a writer, musician and author. His column appears in the Times-Journal weekend edition. Visit brobillybob.com for more information.