Free-Floating Hostility

Friday, July 08, 2005

The Lullaby of C Street

So I am not great to share beds with. In fact, when I am only partially asleep I really suck. This can be quite shocking and upsetting the first time. I once kicked my roommate, who informed me as though she'd just had an epiphany: "You're a horrible bitch." My mom also claims I kicked her as a child, but I was there and she's lying. That being said, I'm not very likely to recognize my loved ones. I've been known to put Mike through a rigorous test to establish his identity before I let him into bed. It usually starts with "Who are you and what are you doing here?," but "What's my brother's middle name?" is a recurring favorite--learn this trivium if you intend to pose as Mike some night. If awakened from a REM cycle I will generally flip over and defend myself from what I am convinced is some kind of attack. Sometimes I just scream. When I'm in bed by myself I have a habit of falling asleep diagonally, which necessitates my being moved. Mike reports that I generally respond to that by "groaning as though you're being asked to go fight a fire," and producing a "nostril harrumph" (this is exactly how my old roommate got kicked). Under no circumstances, however, will I be the first to respond to an alarm clock or phone. I say first, because when I'm by myself I will generally respond to either one.

So yeah, I'm not easy to sleep next to. But neither is Mike. He's extremely talkative for a sleeping person, and has been known to go for strolls. In fact, if I am an angry Wolverine, then he is a decompensating Jean Grey, getting telepathic messages from other mutants all night long. Jeff coined the term "Satanic mumbling" for the nonsense syllables Mike produces in between world class snores--I personally do not notice the snoring anymore, but he's successfully evicted some of my other roommates with it in the past. One time he got dressed, put his pants on inside out, and walked out of my dorm room and halfway down 115th street before waking up. He thinks he was going to visit Jeff in Woodbridge, which almost makes me sorry he didn't make it. To my discredit, I slept through the entire thing.

Mike's quirks are generally related to extreme fatigue. Now that we're civilized people I don't get much in the way of entertainment out of my sleeping husband, but every now and then he'll produce a real gem, such as the night when he sat bolt upright in bed to tell me, "Diana Ross is very excited!" Back in his students days he was a laugh riot though. In fact my predecessor used to try to feed him prompts; I am told he once gave her a detailed report from the front lines, informing her that General Burrito was amassing troops along the river or something like that. But my very favorite came on the night of the Turkey Shoot (in which the outgoing board of the Columbia Daily Spectator chooses the new board over a series of interviews lasting about 20 hours total--after which they all get drunk, being college students, journalists or both). So when all that was done, Mike came back to the apartment around 6 am where he found me already awake for the day. I informed him he smelled like cooked garbage, which was true, and asked him how the Turkey Shoot had gone. He was giving me a rundown of the new masthead when he got to Katy Aronoff, who was the new Opinion Editor.

Anna: Is Katy going to be the only editor or will there be two?

Mike: She has a hospital in the central Congo.

Anna: Huh? What was that? (At this point I thought he might be using some kind of journalistic lingo, like "Turkey Shoot" that I just hadn't learned yet. )

Mike: (huffily) She has a hospital in the desert with no water.

Anna: Aaaaahahahahaha, dude, you fell asleep in the middle of your own sentence.

Mike: Fine, sure, you laugh. But when you have no water and a camel...snoooooooooore.

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