I hear grown men in bunk beds laughing uncontrollably like school boys at summer camp, one softly saying a word that sends the others into giggling fits. Then the other whispers something that leads to even stronger bed-shaking hilarity. On and on. I know tears flood their eyes – they are hysterical yet trying soooo hard not to wake anyone up.
I hear the creaking of upper bunk beds and mentally assess how new the beds are and the weight of my own upper bunkmate.
I hear women snoring. Yes, it happens.
I hear sleeping bag zippers being zipped slowly to not disturb people. Unfortunately, like undoing velcro, it can’t be done silently.
I recall the sound and sight of a group of gray-haired, slow-moving grandmothers laughing uproariously like teenagers, in the showers at the end of the day.
I smell the sickly sweet odor of that God-awful ointment that someone is rubbing on their feet and calves. Do they know how horrible it smells? I will never get that “fragrance” out of my brain.
I smell the body odor of those who don’t wash themselves and/or their clothes.
I hear the soft pad of bare feet on the tile floor as people head into bed after lights out.
I hear the loud clunk of something accidentally falling out of an upper bunk in the dimness as a person tries to roll over.
I hear the echo of a group talking and laughing down the hall in the living area.
I see the light of someone reading an e-book in bed.
I hear the very soft scratch of someone writing in a journal.
I see soft twilight still glowing at 1030 at night. For a night owl like me, it is perfection and I smile.