Wien: Three idiots decide to triple bunk their beds

Senior columnist Elise Wien '17 introduces her roommates and their dreams--literally

by Elise Wien | 9/28/16 1:52am

My freshman year, my two roommates and I decided to triple bunk our beds. We were living on the third floor of Russell Sage and had a tiny inner room in which we all slept. The idea was that triple bunking the beds would leave half of the room empty for a mini-trampoline (we didn’t have one), a drum kit (none of us played) or a blanket fort (it fell). I was on the topmost bed and hit my head on the ceiling a lot. Corinne, on the bottom, was about a half a foot away from the floor, and Kayuri, in the middle, felt like she was in a coffin. We took apart the beds shortly after bunking them, but there was a point where we were all dreaming stacked up on each other.

Corinne gets pissed when she sees people with dream catcher tattoos.

“She had one on her stomach. Over her pelvis. Does her vagina have nightmares? Is she having crotchal nightmares?”

Last night, Kayuri dreamed that she was on spring break with her friends in Colombia, but they confined themselves to the apartment because they inexplicably decided they couldn’t go outside unless they had a knife.

Corinne needs a meditation podcast to fall asleep:

“Now imagine you are walking down a staircase. With each step down you sink deeper and deeper into calmness. One step deeper into calmness. One step deeper…”

Kayuri is never the last one to fall asleep, her face blue in the light of a computer or phone. Right now, her bed is in the outer room because we haven’t gotten our futon yet. We predict her bed will be out there forever.

Last night, I dreamed I was on Lesbian Island. Its main exports were packaged medicaments, aluminum plating and, of course, lesbians, when they decide to leave the island, which is not very often. Everyone on the island looked exactly like me, and we were all on the same menstrual cycle, which is a poetic notion. Like all poetic notions, this was poetic in thought but disastrous in practice. Every month there was an island-wide shortage of feminine care products which has resulted in a underground tampon market, the clandestine nature of which was bad for island morale.

In the mornings, when the inhabitants of Lesbian Island left their homes, their hair was done exactly like mine. We would encounter each other in the street and compliment each other’s styling.

To prepare for civil war, the people of Lesbian Island baked more bread than they had cupboards to hold and wiped down surfaces with damp cloths. They slept on a chaise longue and wore five-layered tulle caps into battle, pulled down to cover their ears and filter noises into a softness. They stockpiled all fruit that can be used as a weapon, for example, that of the spiny variety, such as cactus fruit, pineapple, dragonfruit, prickly pear and, the motherlode, durian.

On the day of the battle, I watched from a hilltop as thousands of women with my likeness went door to door attacking each other with kiwano melons and rambutans, which didn’t do much damage unless plunged into the opponents’ eye sockets. By nightfall there were forests of women with tropical fruits where their eyes once were.

One woman, whose left eye was still intact and whose right eye was replaced by a jackfruit among a few mangled tendons, had spent the last hour separated from the fighting and turned toward the hilltop with her arm outstretched and pointing straight at me.

Slowly the other women noticed her, and they all began to climb the hill in a zig-zag pattern, some bumping into one another, some using others for support, all pointing at me and closing in while the city below burned with the smell of fructose — when I woke up.

This morning, I ate oatmeal with soft fruit and I gargled saltwater for my throat, which is raw. I wonder if I’d been shouting in my sleep, trying to calm the inhabitants of the Island into a peace treaty. It dawns on me that an island of only women doesn’t have to be Lesbian Island, though I like the idea of this utopic ladyland where they want for nothing else.

The all-women island on which I live (North Mass 310, come hang out, we have snacks) is not on fire. There’s definitely more dirty laundry than there should be, and its inhabitants are rasping at each other late into the night. Still, on the whole it’s a land of refuge.

On the all-women island on which I live, on which I’ve lived for the past three years, the other two inhabitants are armed with fruit, ready to garnish anyone who tries to hurt us. None of us get enough sleep, but we’d all be willing to take the middle bunk if it meant lending the others a moment of reprieve. They teach me peacekeeping strategies to take to the Island, for when I’m sleeping in the same room as them but many hundreds of miles away.

Kayuri’s our expert on negotiation tactics. She is the most persistent person in the world; the Human Filibuster. Corinne’s our diplomacy specialist; everyone thinks she’s taller than she actually is because she has amazing posture.

Our freshman year, some people in our building thought she was the UGA just because she walks with such authority. Also she is very loud.

I guess I can be the notetaker and distribute the treaty to the denizens of the Island once we’re done. Maybe we’ll settle on something two-state, and we can triple bunk our beds and make room for the Island on the other side of our tiny inner room, making room for our dream selves as well our waking ones.

My dream self is leading a burning queer clone fruit army, Corinne’s is attempting an inside voice and Kayuri’s, I hear, is going to return armed with a steak knife. We’re gonna need all the room we can get.