Hear Me Out


Any Sunday in March


I woke up this morning feeling pretty good. I got to sleep almost as much as I'd like and I didn't have to go to work or church. This is what makes Sunday so special. That, and the paper.


First, let us explore one of life's little mysteries. Why have I married a woman that needs (at a maximum) six hours of sleep? I love to sleep. It's a hobby, really. I have been known to sleep 15 hours straight and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on whatever is left of the day. I need eight hours, minimum. I can function on seven but I don't like it. If I have six hours I'm not safe to drive and I'm prone to crying and lashing out.

One of the things I like about sleeping is dreaming. I don't drink or take drugs. I try to watch my sugar intake and I don't go near caffeine. I am living my life without all the crutches God intended me to use. Can you imagine the kind of dreams I have? Keep in mind that in your dreams you work through things you don't understand in real life with the help of your subconscious. Since I am a in close contact with my subconscious and I understand so little of the real world, I have a lot of material for dreams.

I get up and go to work five days a week as well as Saturday morning because Leslie usually comes up with some project or task that needs to be done. "Let's build an addition" is not unusual. Saturday is like another workday, really. I wind up doing all the stuff I didn't have time to do during the week. The only difference is that I can dress like a slob and not wear socks if I don't want to.

Sunday is reserved, in my mind at least, for sleeping. Leslie, on the other hand, feels gross, drugged and generally icky if she sleeps too much. Too much for her lands just short of enough for me. So, like all good long lasting couples, we compromise. The alarm goes off and I try my best to ignore it as she ruffles around in bed and asks me to make her coffee and bring it to her.

"Oh, and while you're up, can you feed the dog, let her out and get the paper?" She looks so cute and warm in bed that I can't say no. I can cuss, grumble and whine about it, but I can't say no.

So, with almost enough sleep I do my chores and climb back in bed with the Sunday paper in hand. I like the Sunday paper because I can read several sections. I read the funnies, something called the "Grab Bag" ( a column devoted to trivia), movie reviews, Dear Abby and Ask Beth. Ask Beth is an advice column just like Dear Abby only for kids. Leslie reads the rest and gives me updates.

This morning she handed me a page and told me to read it. It was an obituary of Maurice Armando Lemus, a local teacher and ballet dancer. "Why am I reading about this dead guy?" I handed the paper back.

"No, not that part. This one." She pointed to the story above the obituary and went back to the financial pages.

FLESH EATING BACTERIA ATTACK YOUNG MOTHER read the headline. I read on. It turns out some woman down in Southern California went shopping, came home with a little pain in her leg and now she's in the hospital. She's alive but she's missing a couple of legs and a few fingers.

I wonder what the hell Leslie is thinking most of the time. Why would you give this kind of news to another person? This is the sort of thing that makes hypochondriacs sound sane. Right now I'm walking around with two fingers taped together because of some sort of growth on a ligament of my left index finger that has screwed up the joint. The doctor shot about a gallon of cortisone in it and told me to keep it "buddy taped" to the middle finger for six weeks. I'm also a bit alarmed right now because I've been experiencing light flashes in my left eye whenever I go outside. Now my ankle hurts. It could be because I slipped in the rain yesterday, but after reading the bacteria article, I'm not so sure.

I looked at her after reading the article and said, "You know, my ankle's hurting a little."

"Oh, don't be such a baby." She ruffled my hair and got up. "It's just interesting. I mean, how do you know the difference between a little pulled muscle and a life threatening illness?" She left the room and went on with her day.

I was left with my sore ankle and the flesh eating bacteria article. Before this, I thought I knew the difference between an ache and death knocking on my door. Apparently, I was wrong.

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Copyright 1998 by Laura Jiménez.


Updated 03/08/98
D&S Associates