Monday, February 06, 2006


What a convoluted title! Oh well, onward and upward, said the submarine captain. I couldn't sleep last night, which is unusual for me. I blame it on one of two things -- an unnecessary daytime need for iced coffee -or- the fact that I wasn't sure whether my roommate was actually in the apartment or not. I returned home at a late hour and his bedroom door was shut, so I figured he was in there sleeping. But then I checked his away message and it said he was back home in PA. So then I laid down, prepared for the sleep fairy to carry me off to slumberville, only to hear the creeeeeeeeeeeeek of a door.

I peeked out of my bedroom door, Kravitz-style (
Gladys, not Lenny). Nothing. What kind of Edgar Allen Poe bullshit is this? I closed the door, locked it, and slowly crawled back into bed.

Sleep is not difficult for me -- my family camped pretty often when I was a kid, and once you've mastered sleeping in the itchy-warm grip of a ninja turtle sleeping bag, a full-sized bed is a treat. Plus, the thermostat in the apartment works pretty well -- cool side stays cool, warm side stays warm and all that. Not like summers back home, when air conditioning was a luxury reserved for grandma's house and my brother and I would wring sweat from our pillowcases.

Jesse and I used to talk to get through those humid Pennsylvania nights -- to be honest, what else could we do? Sleeping in that weather is like trying to snorkle in a jacuzzi. Jesse would tell tales of a special pillow he saw on late night TV -- it was made of buckwheat, and stayed cool all night long.

We often fantasized about this pillow, imagining the comfort it would bring in the heat. Jesse would then up the ante, wishing for a buckwheat mattress. What can I say? We were dreamers.

But I've unfortunately never tested the amazing heat reductive qualities of buckwheat, something I'm sure cash-starved south Asian farmers curse me for to this day. Had the product lived up the claim, buckwheat might be the new cotton.

Jesse and I used to protest our sleeping conditions in the time honored tradition of complaining loudly. Our chant, "It's too hot to sleep," (what it lacks in complexity, rhythm or wit it makes up in simplicity), was yelled loud enough to annoy (but not quite loud enough to get us in trouble).

But now, stuck in my apartment with a phantom roommate, I would have killed for the old chanting days - then at least I had someone with whom I could commiserate. "I'm too scared to sleep," really doesn't flow, and would probably only alert the stranger to my exact location. My kingdom for a buckwheat bat!

I opened the door again and tip-toed into the hallway. So far, so good. I knock on Marcus' door -- no answer. Okay, just have to check the kitchen and...
Nothing. The place is empty. I must have heard a door in one of the neighboring apartments. My nerves settle a bit, so I give up the hunt.

I turn off all the lights, climb back in bed and project myself tucked into a red and green sleeping bag. It's a cool 72 degrees, and I drift off quickly.


Blogger Lanbeast said...


It's even more funny to me knowing that not an hour before I read this, I was retelling our buckwheat days to my roomate. Great minds think alike.

11:20 AM  

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