“Mother, can I stay up for the ball tomorrow night? I’m thirteen now—”
—Gone With The Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
I asked Albert why he was so sleepy.
He said he went to bed late.
I asked him what was late for him.
Herman screamed … Five in the mornin’!
Albert said yep.
We all gave Albert a good look.
He looked back at everybody else. Then he said … It’s no big deal.
Herman said that is really late.
Then I said … It’s not late … it’s early. Anybody see the movie Barton Fink? They said that in the movie. It’s not late … it’s early. Get it?
They seemed to get it.
I asked Albert what he was doing until five.
Playing video games.
Your parents okay with that? The all night part on a school night deal? I hate to seem like a prude … but that’s hard core. Five in the morning.
Albert said his parents sort of care and don’t care. That they let him do what he wants as long as he doesn’t give them any trouble.
We asked him how much sleep he got before he had to get up and get ready for school.
Albert said five minutes.
Herman said he has to have a good night’s sleep in order function the next day. Herman looked at Albert.
Albert shrugged his shoulders.
For the rest of class we all watched Albert with great interest and intensity—his head was dunking up and down, his eyelids were closing and opening, his mouth would drop open, his words made no sense, and his class participation grade was not looking so good every minute that passed—while he not so courageously fought off the overwhelming embrace of the great and universal god of sleeping in school, our good friend and leader Hypnos.
The whole scene was hilarious and mesmerizing and full of extreme classroom camaraderie … and we didn’t feel sorry for Herman one bit. Come to find out, it all made him smile, and I think deep down Albert loved the attention. Even though he was asleep the whole time we gave it to him.
Next Entry ... February 19: Anybody Seen The Chicken?