Sunday, October 30, 2011

Falling Asleep On Strangers

             Unintentional is the best word to describe what is happening during the event of falling asleep on someone you don't know. Unfortunate is the best word to describe what is happening when you are the unlucky bastard who discovers that someone has fallen asleep on you whom you do not know. The combination of my workaholic syndrome and incessant drinking has occasionally led to a series of unfortunate situations that involved meeting someone new in a manner not preferred with said situation usually ending in a bitch slap. This series of events was particularly apparent in New York City. The citizens of the Big Apple are already overworked, tired, and drunk to ease the pain of being overworked and tired. I, of course, was exponentially affected by this epidemic because of the fact that I am already all of those things. New York City amplified my insomnia and alcoholism to a new level. Couple this amplification with 24 hour public transportation and you  have a recipe for disaster.

          During those 3 years in New York, I believe I fell asleep on 4 different unfortunates. Looking back, I have noticed that I have a tendency to fall asleep on Black women; angry ones. I remember quite vividly the first time this happened. What makes this story even more tragic is that it happened during the daytime. It's slightly understandable to fall asleep on the train during the night (a regular occurrence for me usually resulting in my entire body being catapulted to the floor during a sudden screeching halt somewhere in New Jersey). But to fall asleep on another human being while on public transportation during broad daylight is about as acceptable as Pamela Anderson being awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her efforts in her 2004 book "Star" in which she details the necessary preparation for intercourse in the back vagina. To make matters worse, I wasn't even drunk the first time I fell asleep on a stranger (it was daytime after all). I couldn't be like Jamie Foxx and blame it on the alcohol (Side note! Why does Jamie Foxx say in the song "Take a shot of Nuvo"? What kind of straight person takes a shot of Nuvo? It's like the equivalent of Robitussin, not even the extra strength.).

            Even though I fell asleep on this random Black woman, whom I will refer to as Monifah, I can put back together the pieces from my memory of how it all went down, albeit slightly in a haze. What I do remember is being very tired and on the A Train on my way back home. I was going to school in Manhattan and upon moving to NYC I had brilliantly sought out a place to live way out by JFK airport. I am truly a mastermind of decision making. This caused my commute to be well over an hour especially in rush hour and even more so if the trains were running local (making my self diagnosed IBS even more precarious to deal with, but that's another blog). I had just finished a long fulfilling day at school and was on my way home in the late afternoon. I had done a very good job of making it about two thirds of my journey on the train without collapsing. I remained poised in my seat on the crowded subway car. About 15 stops in I began fading like Courtney Love. I tried to keep it together. I concentrated with all my might to keep my torso erect. I thought the best solution would be to just simply rest my head on the window behind me (perhaps I should explain that on NYC subway cars, the seats are situated along the periphery of the train in a rectangle shape which allows you the option of resting your head on the wall/window behind you and also allows you to stare uncomfortably at the person seated across from you along the other wall). This proved to be about as brilliant as a decision as it was to live next to the airport. At some point I fell asleep of course, yet I believe to have had a slightly out of body experience. Even though I was asleep, I could somehow feel and see myself beginning to lean ever so slightly like the tower of Pisa only to return to neutral. It's like I was fighting myself to not fall over. I kept swaying to and fro (only to the left) constantly negotiating between the precarious moment of falling and in an upright position. After several minutes passed, I finally entered into a dangerous part of my R.E.M. cycle and in one motion I gingerly dipped all the way over landing my bald bi-racial head into an angry Black woman's lap.

           This is the part of the story where things took an ugly turn. I am still confused as where the anger living inside of this African-American woman came from. Has Monifah always been angry or did my head landing on her drumstick cause her anger. I will never know the truth unless of course Monifah is reading this blog right now (HEY GIRL!). What I do know is by the time I woke up, Monifah was heated! Now to be clear, she woke ME up! So as I found myself in deep slumber in a cocoa butter scented lap, I woke to the sensation of my head being tossed ever so gingerly to the other side of the train. I was slightly alarmed of course. Before I could get my bearings or even feel any embarrassment I heard "You fall asleep on my one mo time and I'm gone slap you in the face!". "I'm SO sorry Monifah! I've had a really long day and I just can't seem to get my life together. I just wanna go home and grab my drink. I promise I won't do it again. Please don't cut me!" would have been my chosen response. In all of my Canadian-ness I simply chose to run away as fast as possible to the opposite side of the train. For the record, I did not get cut.

               Several times over I kept falling asleep on Black women; all angry. I'm not sure what it is that comforts me. I really do think it's the intoxicating scent of the cocoa butter. What is interesting to me is that when the situation reversed itself the outcome was very different. I have no one to blame except karma because obviously I had this shit coming my way. I remember being on the train perfectly awake during the day (I must have taken a Red Bull) when suddenly a White man was lying in my lap. He had an incredibly large, egg-shaped head and he was snoring. "Isn' this magical?" I said to myself. My first instinct was to pretend that nothing was wrong (very Canadian of me). This proved to be somewhat difficult considering I was on public transportation during rush hour. However, this was NYC after all and the one thing you can always count on is the fact that people really do not give a shit about the crazy things they see as those types of things are in abundance in the Big Apple. However, I still had the predicament of the bowling ball resting on top of my femurs. How was I supposed to get this large man off of me without getting punched in the face? Obviously I was attracted to falling asleep on angry Black women. Was my non-abrasive aroma combined with Old Spice enough to make an angry White man fall asleep on me? This had never happened to me before. I was worried he would be hostile. I considered petting him but then reneged on account of him having so little hair. Then I thought about making one foul swoop by very quickly and undetectably sliding out from underneath him. I would time it exactly when the doors opened so that by the time his enormous head hit the seat and after he got his bearings together I would have been long gone. I, again, had to reconsider because I knew even if I got out alive that Jesus would pay me back three fold. I had to come up with a new plan. This is when God spoke to me. God said, "Hey jackass! Tap the bitch on the shoulder and tell him to get the fuck up off of you. Ho!". Okay, so maybe it wasn't God, but it was good advice none the less. Of course I took my own Canadian interpretation of this. I leaned into his ear very slowly. I whispered "hey......hey......white man......this is my stop so i need you to stop sleeping on me please". He didn't budge. I must have been speaking too quietly. I tried again slightly louder to no avail. The third time I spoke a little louder than normal volume. I didn't want to start yelling because the last thing I needed to do was draw attention to my unfortunate situation. I needed to be the first person to blog about this after all. Unfortunately, White man still would not wake up. Truthfully, I was several stops away from my destination so I just decided to wait it out. I remained still as to not disturb his slumber. In my effort to no longer awake the bastard, I actually almost fell asleep myself until I felt the gentle grazing of hair plugs against my thighs. I felt like a mini cactus was being pressed down on my legs with a rolling pin. The man made several grumblings, scratched his head (the bald part), and then slowly maneuvered his torso to an upright position. He glanced at me, confused, and resumed his position of facing forward without saying a word. I couldn't believe it. How can you fall asleep on someone and not be apologetic in the least bit. This was crazy! At least I had handled my unfortunate situation of disturbing angry Black women with some humility and consideration. I don't even get a hello! I felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman; completely taken advantage of (without lubrication)!

           Although I do not personally recommend or condone the idea of sleeping on an individual whom you do not know, I would say that it's important to try it at least once. I do believe that it can be a good way to meet someone as long as you are certain to start the conversation regardless of whether you are the sleeper or the human-sofa. It is a miracle that I am even alive after the billions of Black women I have used as ebony cushions and the countless White business men who I have witnessed horizontal on my lap on public transportation. Although it was a struggle to go through these horrific events, I am a better person for having experienced embarrassment and humiliation. I only hope that the next person who falls asleep in my lap is someone of African-American descent with a lot of hair. At least I will have something to braid to make the time go by faster.


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