aybe it was the cheap and undercooked takeout I had for dinner, or the overwhelming stress of my raging hormones, but last night I did not sleep well. Most of the night was spent tossing and turning on my sleep-well, form-fitting, orthopedic, stress-relieving mattress. It was too hot, too cold and the silence seemed blaringly loud in my tired ears. Finally, as the early morning sun begins to wake the world I drift uneasily into the land of slumber. A short hour later I am awakened by the oh-so-annoying screech of my digital alarm clock. Time for class. I spring dexterously from the bed and begin my daily regimen of exercises…

Or at least I thought I did. My body is a little slow still; it did not feel like springing and instead fell from the bed, stubbing its toe and banging its head in the process. I stand, slowly this time, waiting patiently for my body to respond. A shower, I think, as I wipe an hour’s worth of drool from my cheek, nothing better than a hot shower to wake you up. Undress, turn on the faucet and jump in… Oh my, that’s cold. There is no hot water, but at least I am awake now. I jump out quickly, already my appendages begin to feel numb and my body is overtaken by bouts of uncontrollable shivering. No time to worry about hypothermia: Dry off, dress quickly. Damn, too quickly, I just ripped my favorite pair of pants, but I'm too late to change now. This just is not my day. Now: the makeup. I delicately apply my lipstick. No problem here, in fact, this part goes well. The color accents my complexion and bloodshot eyes beautifully. This day is turning out better already. Lipstick’s done, now a bit of blush to highlight those cheek bones… Wait, what’s this? A beard?!? Oh my God: I'm a man! Quick wipe the lipstick off (why the fuck do I even have that shit anyway?), there’s just enough time to shave! There’s no more shaving cream, oh well. I begin to shave, half way down my left cheek I notice a thick, red fluid flowing freely from my face. Blood. The razor is dull. I look at it, is that rust? Oh well, worry about tetanus later, it looks like I hit an artery or major blood vessel of some sort: That’s a lot of blood. There aren’t any arteries in the face are there? It’s dripping on my shirt, no time to change. Find a pair of socks, oops, none left, grab two from the hamper. They don’t match. Oh well. They really smell. Oh well; hold my breath and put them on. I grab the aerosol can of mountain fresh odor neutralizer from my night stand. I empty the entire can on the socks. They still smell. The air freshener only made it worse. Grab my shoes, put them on. Wrong feet. Fuck it. Time for class.

I'm too late, I missed the bus already. I begin to walk. About halfway across my dying lawn I step on something soft. Hmm, how sweet! A gift from my neighbor’s loving collie. What a bitch, literally. I look at my shoe in disgust. What else could possibly go wrong? Mercifully the suspense is ended by a newspaper which hits me square in the face. My friendly neighborhood paperboy rides by laughing: “Ha ha, moron. Hit you right on the kisser!” As I bend down to retrieve the boy’s projectile with the intention of returning his greeting I hear the whine of air rushing through old water pipes. A split second later my sprinklers turn on. Perfect: now I am drenched, but at least the timer works. It’s not over yet, though. In what some may call and act of God and others a meteorological impossibility, ominous, black clouds fill the previously pristine sky. Thunder booms, lightning flashes and pouring rain falls like daggers on my exposed skin.

“Kill me now, Lord!” I plead, raising my arms Heaven-ward. In answer to my prayer a bolt of white light issues forth from the black sky and strikes me. When I regain consciousness I find myself face down on the ground. The smell of my own charred flesh fills my nostrils. The rain is gentler now, soothing my battered and now hairless body. In front of my face I see the newspaper. It has been severely burnt by the lightning, but I can still make out a few words. There’s the date: April 20th, 2003. April 20th. That’s a Sunday. Sunday means no school. Sunday is a day of rest. My shattered will is not strong enough contain the terrible sound of mental anguish that escapes my chapped lips: Dagnabbit!!! All the pain, all the suffering, all for naught. Reverting to a more innocent and duty free past I tuck my knees under my chin and cry. And laugh. And sob. And this is how the policemen find me: unable to utter a coherent sentence, unable to control my basic bodily functions.

Copyright © 2003