For most of us, a gossamer boundary shields us from unwanted interaction with our environment. Roofs and walls keep out the elements. Doors are usually all that separate us from anything, from grizzly bear to drunk, from wandering into our homes.

In the cowtown of Sheridan, Wyoming less than an eon ago, Eva Olson woke up to the uncomfortable sensation of her bed squeaking. In the middle of the night, some strange man just waltzed into her home, climbed under the sheets and started talking.

Olson, 40, was a bartender didn’t know the 48-year-old Bill O’Dell, but he knew her from the tavern. According to police reports, Bill had a belted back a few and just showed up for a nocturnal chat.

On the bright side, except for being completely startled, nothing much happened. The bartender showed Bill the door and he went home. Later, he was arrested for criminal trespass.

The little things we take for granted.

Like having our beds if not empty, then at least filled with familiar pets, stuffed animals or loved ones.

Years ago, when I was just 20, my best pal Phil and I took up residence with a conundrum of a couple. They were hippies with jobs. Our counterculture pals were straight out of a Sgt. Pepper album, but they also held down full-time employment with a market. It’s hard to peg exactly what Phil and I were in the 1970s. We were part Kelly and Scott from “I Spy,” part Barry Goldwater/Newt Gingrich and part Laurel and Hardy. I suppose any place you put us was a recipe for disaster.

Our landlords would host a series of semi-hedonistic parties on the weekends. The lowest my bar dipped in experimental drugs was to have a cold Olympia with a Bonus Jack from Jack in the Box.

I worked a few jobs, from refereeing to freelancing for a former mighty newspaper to televising the stock car races on Saturdays at the old Saugus Speedway. On weekends at the Speedway, the stands and pits were filled with one, big, huge living Palmdale Joke performance art ensemble. There would be a few thousand people wandering about and you couldn’t make a complete set of teeth from the whole bunch. Add to that was the nonstop roar of unmuffled souped-up American engines roaring around a very small circle. Running a TV camera close to the track was like having someone put a metal trash can over your head and hit it with a shovel, over and over and over and over again. The last thing I wanted when I came home on a Saturday night was noise.

But I’d come home and walk through my own, personal inversion layer of cigarette, cigar and questionable devil tobacco smoke.

People would be passed out in every room and there would be food, plates, trash and butts, both cigarette and human, strewn across the landscape.

But my room was my all-American wise guy Pat Boone sanctuary.

Except for one night.

I came home just drained and started to collapse on my bed. I somehow caught myself about three-eighths of an inch from the top of my blanket. In a move only seen in cartoons, I somehow managed to twist away before landing on top of two bodies.

I’m lying on the floor and I hear a generic male voice of the ’60s. It seemed there were tens of thousands of guys wandering about during this time who all sounded like Cheech and Chong. A drugged and hazy sentence, like a rusty door slowly opened, asked: “Hey, man ... we’re like tryin’ to like, make love here, man...”

Somehow, he managed to insert 14 H’s in the word, “man...”

In the dark, I winced. Two strange hippies, naked, possibly with lice and dirty feet, were sweating and expelling all manner of bodily liquids in my clean sheets.

Republican-like, I announced: “This is my room. You’re in my bed.”

“It’s cool, man. We’ll be done in maybe an hour or so, man...” said the guy.

I suppose, in part, it was the simple violation of my space. Probably, it was more that I had been working on a Saturday night and I was the only 20-something male in the 1970s who wasn’t having unbridled unprotected sex with hundreds of wanton hippie chicks. I ordered them, politely, to leave.

“C’mon, man. Get outta here,” said the girl.

“Yeah, man. Get out, man. Be cool,” said Cheech.

Perhaps it was how the moral high ground had somehow shifted and I was the uncool one for having my home being the spawning ground for some yet-to-be-born Hillary supporter. Perhaps it was just that I was still in shell shock from the stock car races and have the word, “Man” pelted at me seven times in just four short sentences.

“‘Cool,’” I repeated, pursing my lips in the dark.

“Yeah, man. Be cool. Go away.”

I know that was the first and last time I ever touched a naked man during the act of sex. But I stood, grabbed him by an ankle and arm, hoisted him out of my bed, carried him out of my room, down the hall, out the front door and deposited him buck naked on the lawn.

A moment later, I came back for the girl, who had wrapped herself in my blanket and was standing. This was a little more awkward because I wasn’t about to tote a naked woman in estrus. She obliged my swearing at me while she gathered her clothes. She left the blanket and a last curse, the ultimate a hippie can level on a fellow human being: I was so completely uncool.

“Yeah. Summer of love. Power to the people,” I said to her retreating bare buttocks, a Black Power fist raised in the air.

I stayed up until about three that morning, washing my bedding.

I suppose I should have looked on the bright side.

At least I wasn’t asleep when the unknown hippie visitors crawled into my bunk. Who knows. Maybe 30-some years later, the three of us would have owned a tie-dye T-shirt shop or tattoo parlor together.

(SCV author John Boston also writes The Time Ranger & SCV History for your SCV Beacon. He’s has earned more than 100 major awards for writing, including being named, several times, America’s best humor, and, best serious columnist. Don’t forget to check out his national humor, entertainment & swashbuckling commentary website, America’s Humorist — http://www.johnbostonchronicles.com/) — © 2017 by John Boston. All rights reserved.

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