My brother and I had a booger wall. We had bunk beds in a room with a window that had a fire escape that looked out over the stoop of 121 South Second Street. Our bunk beds were up against the wall on one side of the room, and in the wall was a door going to the hallway that was painted shut. The door had a frame all around that came out about one inch away from the wall, and when I was in my bunk, which was the bottom bunk because I used to move a lot in my sleep and Mami thought if I was at the top I would roll off the side and break my neck — “You’re gonna break your neck up there,” she said — or when Fever was in his bunk, we could look over from our pillows to our left and right there was the door trim. And Mami used to send us to bed early but we never wanted to go to sleep, so we would talk and make jokes. And when we had to pick our noses, we didn’t want to get out of bed, so we would pick our noses, and look at what we picked of course, and roll them, and then we didn’t want to put it on our pillows, and we were not the kind of kids who ate our boogers, although we knew kids who did, like Scotty Almodovar, who was half Polish and half Puerto Rican, so we just took it and put it on that side of the frame. No one would see the booger there, we both figured logically.
After a while, though, the boogers started to add up. It was okay because they would dry up, so you could put one on top of another.
When it got to springtime, Papi painted the apartment. He started in the living room and we were helping him but when we started doing tic tac toe he told us to stop and stay in the kitchen.
Later, after Papi finished, Fever and me were walking around the apartment, with all the furniture piled in the center of the rooms under blankets, and we were liking the smell of the paint, and then we both said, “The booger wall!”
So we ran to our room and looked at the door frame. We were wondering if Papi had cleaned off the wall with a scraper. But no — we saw right away from the bumps that Papi had just painted over our boogers.
We both turned to each other and said, “Ewwww.”