Friday, June 18, 2004

The Random Ruminations of a Man left to His Own Devices (Part II)

Bachin’ It
Michelle goes away just often enough that it gives me an opportunity to imagine what it would be like if I was on my own again.

And most of the time it ain’t pretty.

Now I’m not saying that I’m totally helpless by myself, but there’s an Achilles Heel of mine that nearly always rears its ugly head whenever I find myself temporarily wife-less. It has been with me my whole life and probably will continue ‘til the day I die.

If you haven’t already guessed, I sleep like a friggin’ rock. Combine that with the fact that I was an insomniac for most of my childhood (hence I’ve always been a nightowl), and what you get is the recipe for disaster if one is required to get up and go to work in the morning. I sleep through alarms, ladies and gentlemen, like nobody’s business.

Michelle has always been a morning person. She gets up at 5:45 AM each weekday, gets her shower and begins rousting me at 7:00; then again at 7:05; and again at 7:10; and again at…well, you get the idea. Usually by the time 7:20 rolls around and she’s threatened me with divorce, I’m up — and she’s fuming. But it happens, like clockwork, every damn day.

So needless to say, if she’s gone on a workday, I’m in deep do-do.

She left for Memphis on Thursday. Uh-oh.

And guess what happened today? Uh-oh again.

Lucky I don’t punch a time clock…and have an understanding boss.

However, if my problem is bad today, it was worse back in my bachelor days. If I had a dollar for all the times I overslept before I got married, my wife would have been a kept woman the entire 25 years we’ve been together.

Perhaps my favorite story of that time in my life, and definitely the best illustration of my problem happened on at least a couple occasions, but the first one was the most classic.

I had an early morning class one semester during my second year in college. The night before I had worked the 5PM-2AM shift at the grocery store, which was the job that supported me throughout those years. Needless to say I wasn’t going to get much sleep. My roommate, who wasn’t going to school at the time had to get up to go to work about the same time I needed to, so I had asked him if he could just make sure that I got up when my alarm went off, since I had already slept through it or turned it off and rolled back over a few times previously.

Something else to note is that I am, and have always been, a stomach sleeper. I cannot fall asleep on my back (this will play a pivotal role in what happens next). Well 7:00 AM rolls around, and off goes my clock-radio alarm. And we’re talking a really nasty AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH alarm. Very loud, very annoying.

I don’t move a muscle.

My roommate walked over and moved the nightstand on which the clock-radio sat, all the way next to my bed, so that it was literally inches from my face.

Still dead to the world.

He then lifted the clock-radio off the nightstand, while it was blaring, and placed it on the back of my neck.

Nothing! Hmmm…maybe this guy is dead…

According to his account of this story, my roommate waited 2-3 more minutes as I remained motionless before he got pissed. He started shaking the bed violently. Finally I stirred. I thought we were having an earthquake.

And then in one terrifying moment of confusion and panic, I realized that I couldn’t feel my arms. “I can’t move! I can’t move!” I yelled, craning my neck to lift my head off the pillow. Both my arms were “asleep” and I was laying on them. I flopped around like wounded sea elephant in a National Geographic Special. I was in such a panic that it took a few more seconds before I also became cognizant that the clock-radio was on my back and the alarm was still blaring away.

My panic finally subsided when I became coherent enough to realize that my arms were only asleep and not paralyzed. I managed to roll over, just in time to catch a glimpse of my roommate, rolling on the floor in convulsive laughter.

I couldn’t blame him.

It must have been the funniest looking thing he’d ever seen. And I’ve been hearing about it ever since.

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