Strange Bedfellows - Or, What To Do When Your Brother Sleeps With Your In-Laws. (Part Two)
*Be sure you've read the first part, otherwise what follows will make no sense whatsoever to you. Heck, it makes no sense whatsoever to me, and I was there.
“Yeah, Jeff, what's up? You OK?”
“Oh, I am darlin'. But you're gonna have to come getcher brother out of my bed.”
I took a second to let that demand sink in. Nope, still didn't make sense.
“I'm sorry, what?”
“Follow me,” JT's dad said, helping me up off the floor and guiding me toward the room he and Dawn occupied.
My eyes immediately went to Dawn. She stood in the corner of the bedroom in her jammies, doubled over and red-faced, trying so hard and failing to control her laughter. My head swiveled right, and I saw the cause. There, at the foot of their bed, splayed out horizontally, was all 6-feet, four-inches of my brother. He was wrapped up in the covers like a burrito, his head poking out the top. His chest heaved in slow rhythmic movements and he emitted the slightest of snores. He was out cold.
I looked to Dawn who could only shake her head and cry even harder. I looked to Jeff, who was able to offer somewhat of an explanation. Apparently, a few minutes prior, they had heard someone come into their bedroom and use their adjoining bathroom. They then watched as the figure cozied up at the foot of their bed. They assumed it was JT, starting to feel the throws of his Platinum evening and wanting to be close to a toilet. So they decided to leave it alone and go back to sleep. That is, until the figure cleared his throat, and Dawn didn't recognize the tone as belonging to her son. She snapped on the bedside light, and saw my brother snoozing at her feet.
“I tried to wake him. But he just grabbed the covers and yanked 'em back over his head," Jeff said. "So, I'm looking at him, and I'm just thinking, 'Well, huh.'”
Well, sure. What else do you think when a strange man slides into your bed and bogarts the covers?
“You did the right thing,” I assured Jeff, and silently thanked God for my future in-law's awesome sense of humor. “I'll see what I can do.”
I approached the bed slowly, as though Eric was the tiger in “The Hangover” and I was a steak-wielding Stu. I lightly touched his shoulder and gave it a quick shrug. Nothing. I pushed harder. Nothing. “ERIC!” I shouted.
At this, my brother popped up like a meerkat. He looked me right in the eye, looked in the opposite direction, stood up, and walked out the door. We followed and watched him pass right back out on the air mattress next to a snoozing Nik, who never even flinched. JT was still passed out on the couch. Dawn, Jeff and I gaped at each other wide-eyed as though a unicorn had just presented itself, did a quick tap dance, then disappeared.
“Huh.....well, night, darlin,'” Jeff said, ushering Dawn back into the bedroom.
I lay back down on the floor, wildly confused, but no worse for wear. I fell back to sleep with my eyebrows arched in perplexed wonder.
The next morning, I was the first to wake. I grabbed a cup of coffee and went out onto the balcony to consider the prior evening's events. It wasn't long before a sleepy-eyed Eric joined me.
He lumbered out, pulled a patio chair over, slumped down, and lit the day's first cigarette. I watched him closely, as if engrossed in a Discovery Channel documentary.
“Hey,” he said, leaning back for a stretch and yawning.
“Heeeey,” I said, finally pulling my stare away. Oh, this was too good.
He puffed and I sipped for a full minute before I couldn't wait any longer.
“So,” I said, pausing for effect. “Do you want to talk about the fact that you slept in Dawn and Jeff's bed last night, or...?”
Eric looked at me completely puzzled. His head cocked to the side. And then, slowly, wonderfully, his expression began to change. His scrunched eyebrows shoot heavenward, and his spine snapped straight. He gripped the handles of the chair, and every ounce of color drained from his face.
“WHAT THE FUCK DID I DO?!!!” he shrieked, looking at me pleadingly. I turned around, and just as I'd hoped, Dawn, Jeff and a brought-up-to-speed JT and Nik were all standing on the other side of the glass, laughing their faces off.
“OH MY GOD!!!!” Eric bolted inside and hung his head. “I DON'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED! I'M SORRY! I'M SO SO SORRY!”
Dawn and Jeff just cried and cried and shook their heads. Finally, once we all could breathe again, Dawn put a reassuring arm around Eric.
“Well, honey, I guess we are all really family now. We've slept together.”
Eric continued to freak out, but eventually the mocking stopped. We've never fully let him off the hook, though. When they come to Pittsburgh to visit, Dawn and Jeff love to make a big deal of not revealing which hotel room is theirs lest Eric decide he wants another late-night snuggle.
It's all in good fun, and Eric has learned to live with the teasing. He blames the whole thing on sleepwalking.
I blame crab fries.