As a kid, my Mom used to live at the movies. They showed two feature films, a newsreel, a cartoon and up and coming features for under fifty cents. The movie theatre lured you in with a gift of free crockery, though you could never collect a full set.

You could walk in at any time and stay to see everything all over again. She did. She would stay all day, and by the afternoon, she and all the other kids knew the dialog of the feature film. They talked back to the screen – "You did it!” – to the annoyance of the grown-ups.

When she saw “Dracula” with Bela Lugosi, once was enough. The film was tinted blue and made an uneasy impression. That night she woke up screaming. Her parents ran into her bedroom and when they turned on the lights, there were bedbugs all over the ceiling and dropping on the bed. Baba had just that day brought home a “new” mattress from his second-hand store; now Nana was ready to kill him. She wouldn’t even let him take it out through the house; he had to tie it up and throw it out of the bedroom window.

Next morning Baba took Nana and his daughter into the little bedroom and ran his finger along a long horizontal crack in another window just over the back porch. This window was nailed shut, but someone had tried to get in the previous night.

A perfect storm: Dracula, bedbugs and a burglar.

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