Bed-Ridden

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I really need to get some sleep.

See, I quit sleeping several months ago, mainly because there’s just so much hanging around I have to do. I have all these friends, and my friends are always wanting to go out and do stuff, and I can’t say no to my friends, and — oh, all right, I don’t have any friends. I eat saltines and sit in front of the TV until 2 a.m. Satisfied?

Anyway, when I finally do go to sleep, I want to SLEEP. I don’t want to be interrupted. I don’t want people talking to me. I want to SLEEP.

This, unfortunately, is often not possible. For example last winter I was sick. I had this enormous head cold, and my cranium had swelled to the size of a beach ball, and my brain was floating, and most of the time I couldn’t breathe or even think. As a result, I had a difficult time getting to sleep. Once I did doze off, living as I do with other people, something would usually wake me up.

I remember one morning, I was awakened by a phone call. After getting rid of the person, I tried to go back to sleep, only to discover that in my left ear, I could distinctly hear the beating of my own heart. Somehow the fluids that were squishing around in my skull had positioned themselves so as to cause my heartbeat to reverberate in my left ear, and not only could I hear it, but it was keeping me awake. (“Come on, heart, keep it down, I’m trying to sleep!”) My first thought was that I had killed someone and buried them under the floorboards, and that I was now hearing their heart beat, like in that Edgar Allan Poe story. I quickly scanned my memory and determined that I had not killed anyone.

I then tried to rearrange my ear fluids to make the sound go away. I tried Q-Tips, an unbent paper clip, and good old-fashioned whacking myself in the side of the head. Nothing helped. So I tried to make my heart stop beating. I learned that this is not a good thing to try to do. “Let your heart keep on beating no matter what” is the lesson I learned. Approximately three days later, I fell asleep.

It was a miserable experience, being sick, but there are those who would not be able to relate to that. I am speaking specifically of my mother. I don’t wish to air my family’s dirty psychoses in public, but my mom enjoys being sick. She gets to lie in bed, everyone waits on her hand and foot, and she can sleep all she wants. She loves it.

Perhaps this goes without saying, but my mom especially loves being in the hospital. She considers the greatest travesty of modern medicine to be the fact that, due to insurance regulations, women giving birth are often being dressed and rushed out the door even before the umbilical cord is cut. When my mom had her children, it was customary for a new mother to stay in the hospital six to eight months. My grandmother was in the hospital until my mom entered grade school. In the days of the Old West, after a woman had a child she was sealed away in an airtight container and put on a shelf for the rest of her life. Or at least that’s how my mom tells it.

I think my mom should read the book I read a few years ago, entitled “Big Bird’s Jealous.” This was a “Sesame Street” story wherein either Bert or Ernie, whichever one is short and red, got sick, thus causing Big Bird to get jealous, because everyone was paying so much attention to Bert/Ernie. So Big Bird decided to pretend to be sick so that everyone would pay attention to him/her, which everyone did, only then, Big Bird got sick for real, and his/her eventual conclusion was that being sick is not very much fun. Duh. If your children need a book to tell them that, your children have some serious problems that cannot, I assure you, be solved by “Sesame Street,” or by any other program from the Children’s Television Workshop, for that matter. And I include “Electric Company” in this statement.

Nonetheless, my mom likes to be sick, and who are we to stop her?

When I was a freshman, I lived at Deseret Towers (“Where the Leaders of Tomorrow are Having Water Fights Today”), and I was constantly being woken up. A major contributing factor to this problem was the group of foreign exchange students from Mexico who lived in the room next to mine and who often invited several thousand of their friends over for parties (or, as they say in Mexico, “siestas”). They would stay up until all hours of the night singing and laughing and shouting in Spanish, and since the walls in DT are not made of cinderblock, as they appear, but rather of sturdy posterboard, I could hear everything. The fact that it was all in Spanish made it even more annoying, because I think if someone is going to keep me awake, they should at least have the courtesy to do it in a language I can understand.

I was also woken up frequently by the sound of people whistling in the DT hallways as they were getting ready for school. I don’t think people should whistle. Whistling is basically your way of saying, “Here’s the song that’s been stuck in my head all day; I’d like for it to be stuck in yours, too.”

And with that, I bid you farewell. I’ve got to go to slezzZ-Zzx-nxZJ;-zxXZZxz.

Not much to say about this one. It's rambly and tangential, but not really in a good way. Also, I borrowed far too heavily from old Daily Herald columns. (The Bert and Ernie thing came from here, and the loud Mexicans were cited here. At this point, I was too busy to be spending the necessary time to write a weekly column, and plus I was seriously out of practice when it came to column-writing. Hence the self-plagiarism.

I think I was the only one, but I really liked the part about Old West women being put in airtight containers. That still amuses me to this day.

I originally had "festivas" as the Spanish word for "parties," but someone looking over my shoulder didn't get the joke, and so I panicked and made it more subtle, so that many people wouldn't realize it was even supposed to be a joke. I should have kept "festivas."

And the last part, about whistling, was thrown in merely because I wanted a few specific people to get the hint that I hate whistling. None of them did.

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