Why I Was Always Destined to be a Hobo

I’m going to come right out and say it: I like sleeping in cardboard-box-like places. I was one of those kids that took fort-building to an extreme.

When my grandma came back with a few child-sized cardboard boxes, I swear I started frothing at the mouth. Not recently, but when I was 5 although I have to say that if this happened today, my reaction would not have changed. I demanded that she give some to me and bring some blankets while she was at it!

Immediately, I draped some cloth over the box and placed the rest of the blankets inside. I followed suit.

I’d like to say that I quickly grew out of that strange phase in my life, but I’d be lying. I think I spent about a week, at least, sleeping in the makeshift cardboard-box bed. I never went to bed happier–and I usually consider bedtime the best part of my day!

When my parents took away the cardboard box bed, I was determined to find a way to recreate it. Luckily, I stumbled across some couch cushions that used to belong to a couch that we tore apart. It was like building with a giant cushion-filled deck of cards and I loved it. The small hut soon became a colony when I recruited my brother into my mole-like activities. We ate, napped, and watched tv from our small caves and it was marvelous.

Looking back on it, I would have been very concerned if I were my mom. She had raised a bunch of mole people! She probably was concerned, because I soon lost the cushions to the dark basement.

However, fate gave me yet another chance.

In fifth grade, we learned about the Great Depression and Hooverville. I didn’t care much for the subject until it was made clear to me that there would be a Hooverville unit in which the entire class would spend in huge separate cardboard boxes. This led me right back onto the path to my future as a hobo.

We took out all the desks and chairs and instead had class in giant cardboard boxes. Again, I took this to an extreme. Again, this was one of the happiest school memories of my life.
But alas, like many things, this had to end. We celebrated the end of Hooverville and the Great Depression as we knew it by flattening our boxes and taking them to the recycling bin out back.  Understandably, I was the only one saddened to see my home go. Whereas other boxes were just… boxes, my cardboard box was the mansion of hobo homes. I had these ropes that allowed me to open and shut windows at will. I had a skylight. I also had a cloth door for extreme privacy!

The box I occupied in fifth grade was my last box up to date. I’m currently without a box or a cave to go back to, although my dorm room comes pretty close to cardboard-box size. Right now I’m into

draping pieces of blanket over the barriers of my bed. It’s kind of like sleeping in a crib. Maybe I’ll invest in one of those sleigh-beds in the future on top of which, I will add a canopy that’s not see-through. Or, who knows, I may find myself a college graduate with no skill to offer the world and you will really find me on the street in a cardboard box. The possibilities are endless!

But for now, this’ll do, pig. This’ll do.


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