San Diego Stories by Salvatore Filippone

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June 26, 2002


I wake up early ... too early. In spite of all my recent radiation-inspired sleepiness, I still wake up too early. I think my mother planted the wretched idea in my head that after one turns 30, one inevitably begins waking up at 5 am. So, regardless of when I fall asleep I now think of any hour past 6 am is sleeping in.

This I now complain about endlessly.

I actually don't mind that much. It‚s just the romantic notion of sleeping in that I miss. It seems so innocently 14-years-old, so deliciously young that nothing could be so important that cannot wait for another few hours of blissful dreaming, exquisite unconsciousness.
The thing I wonder about is the guy who makes his bed in the parking lot across the street from where I live. He sleeps behind the tiny mexican takeout that faces India Street. I don't know when he goes there, he's never there when I go to bed, but always in the morning I'm awake before the sun, and he's sound asleep. I've seen cars pulling in, parking dangerously close to him, and he doesn't stir. The
first time I saw this I thought maybe he had died. But nothing seems to disturb his sleep. When I leave for work he's still there, motionless and sound asleep. I always check on him.

I wish for just one week that I was one of those anal-retentive perfectionists. All of my laundry would be done, folded and put away, the mail would all be opened and filed, my checkbook would be balanced. Everything would have its place and I would know where it was. I could save at least 30 minutes a day that I now spend
searching for keys, sunglasses, wallet, underwear ... everything. So with that 30 minutes a day I would have almost 4 hours a week to be anal-retentive and keep everything in order.

But then I wouldn't be so random. I kind of like random.

So in those hours in the morning which are actually nice even though I complain... when most human consciousness is quiet and I envy the guy who can sleep in a parking lot ... I remember things like being a kid and summer afternoons on the porch with my brother reading to each other from the Guinness Book of World Records. The Smallest Person in the World. The World Record for Somersaults. The Man who Hiccuped for 30 Years.


Posted by sfilippone at June 26, 2002 10:16 PM