Strange Awakenings

For several months in 1989, I'd wake up exactly one minute before my alarm was due to ring. This wasn't one of those clocks that gets geared up beforehand, either. There's no warning, just the mayhem of consciousness.

Then, just as suddenly as it arrived, the affliction left.

Here are two other incidents that warrant retelling:

Sabrina was off in New Hampshire, freezing and interviewing for a job.

It was a bitterly cold winter night in New Orleans, and I liked to leave the heat off, just to experience it for the few days it deigned to visit us. I arrived home about 3:30am completely soused. It was all I could do to stumble around shucking my clothes and slither under the down quilt in the buff.

I shivered for an unknown while as I warmed my space. I finally collapsed into a coma.

At 4:15 I sat bolt upright.

The fish.

I had never given any real thought to the fish. I had never fed it. It was hers. A Beta. Nice to look at, but no big deal to me.

And now I knew it was freezing to death.

I lept out of bed and found it absolutely still, trying to stay alive in very cold water. I examined the various things behind the aquarium and deduced that one was a heater. I turned it on. I also got a cup of hot water from the kitchen and added it to his world. I didn't want to throw the balance off too quickly, but I had to warm the place up a bit.

After a short time, he started swimming about. I fed him, and talked to him for a half-hour. I was shivering naked in my living room.

Sabrina left him when she moved to the west coast. I sold him when I moved to the northeast.

Scott had missed his plane. Not by much, but enough.

We rode the A back into Manhattan and gathered up a posse to play pool and drink.

This we did until almost 4am. We crawled home and I passed out on the sofa. Scott was determined to stay up until his 6am departure for the airport and his new flight. I wasn't involved.

Except that I woke up at precisely 6am and saw Scott passed out on the easy chair, ticket in hand.

"Scott, get up!"
Scott opened his eyes and stared at me.
"It's 6am. Time to go."
And without a word, he grabbed his bags and went.

He made the flight.