The last night at Camp, I tried to sleep, but I couldn’t ignore my mother’s sighing and heavy breathing from the next bed over. I would have never noticed the noise if Irina hasn’t make such a fuss about it the night before.
I tossed and turned for a while, counted sheep, and even tried to put a pillow over my head. Nothing worked.
“Anyu, are you okay? Why are you breathing and sighing so deeply?”
“Ehhh…my bra…it’s too tight.”
“What size are you?”
“No way, mom, you’re bigger than that. Even I’m a 38B.”
“No vay you’re a 38! You haf no boobs!”
“Gee, thanks. And ’38’ has nothing to do with boob-size. It’s the circumference of my rib cage.”
“Oh….really? Den vhat are dah letters for?”
“That’s the cup size. For your boobs.”
“Oooooh. Nobody ever told me dat. I just picked von up vhen I was 18 and I’ve been getting dah same size ever since.”
“Didn’t Nagymama ever teach you about that stuff?”
“You didn’t talk about tings like dis vhen I vas young, Stephie. You veren’t supposed to.”
“I dunno. You just veren’t supposed to talk about anyting.”
My mother eventually “unbuckled” herself, her heavy breathing hastened, and I fell asleep.
I was in the middle of my reoccurring dream about carnivals when I felt a pair of strong hands shaking me.
“Stephie!” Anyu yelled. “Somevon is tryink to break into dah room!”
I muttered something unintelligible about cotton candy.
“Seriously, Stephie! Dey are trying to get into dah bathroom!”
She dragged me out of bed and pointed me in the direction of the closed bathroom door.
“Anyu, no one is trying to break into a freakin’ Bible camp…”
She put a finger to her lips to shush me. Indeed, there was some sort of clicking coming from the bathroom.
I reached for the doorknob, trying to ignore my mother’s nails clutching my upper arm. I opened the door and braced myself. There was nothing – no one at the window, no one behind the shower curtain.
Click click click. Click click click.
My mother looked up at the ceiling in horror, pointing to a small rusty vent.
“Dey’re trying to get through dah ceiling, Stephie!”
“Anyu, that vent is smaller than a piece of paper. No one could fit through it.” (Well, except for “Tombs” from X-files, but I decided not to mention him, given my mother’s paranoia and lack of Sci-Fi knowledge)
“Maybe dey can’t fit, but dey are probably still peeping through dah vent! Listen!”
The clicking persisted.
“Anyu, it’s a windy day. The air is blowing through the duct and rattling the vent. That’s all.”
“Nope, somebody is definitely dere. I can feel someting vatching.”
I couldn’t take it anymore. I had spent the entire day apologizing for my mother’s inappropriate public demands for a husband, while listening to the intimate details of my nephews’ pooping habits, all the while hearing the constant drone of misters lamenting about the eternal fires of hell. This “vacation” already felt like hell on Earth, so I just wanted to get back to my Cotton Candy Carnival dreams.
“Oh, you know what, Anyu? I think I saw a bird fly in there this afternoon from the roof,” I lied. “He’s probably just making a nest or something.”
“Or maybe a skirl?”
“Yeah, maybe it was a squirrel. Or a bird. Or a squirrel bird. Yeah, a flying squirrel. Anyway, we’re probably keeping it awake talking about it, let’s go to sleep.”
“Okay, good. I’ll turn on the fan, then, so maybe it vill cut it up and it’ll die.”
“Yeah, sounds great, goodnight.”
The next morning, I woke up to my mother reading a magazine and singing to herself in her tighty whities, completely bare-breasted.
“Ewwww, Anyu, cover yourself.”
“I tink dat skirl isn’t dead yet, Stephie, but maybe by tonight he’ll starve to death.”
“Anyu, do you hear me? Why are you shirtless?”
“You told me my bra was too tight! I don’t vant to cut off my circulation. Dats no good!”
“You’ve been wearing the wrong size for 30 years, one more day isn’t going to kill you.”
Just then, there was a knock at the door. Without evening thinking, she answered the door, just barely crouching behind it to cover her naughty bits.
It was my 7-year old nephew, Attila.
“Stephie-nay-nee! They rang the breakfass bell, come on!”
I jumped towards the door in slow motion, matrix style, “ATTILA, NOOOO, DON’T COME IN!”
My mother looked at me like I was crazy as I hugged the boy’s head to shied his eyes from the horror. “Vhat’s dah problem? He’s just a little boy, it doesn’t matter, he von’t remember.”
“Yeah, I’m sure he’ll try to repress this memory, but years of therapy will bring it back up. Please, Anyu, put some clothes on.”
“Eh, I’m on vacation. Clothing’s optional.”