This morning around dawn I seemed stuck in a dream. Or I was coming out of a dream and stuck between sleep and being awake. Or I was awake and stuck in an early morning alphabet-filled hallucination.
I always sleep through the night. I never have insomnia and I never have to use the bathroom in the wee hours. Once I turn out the lights I’m asleep within minutes and don’t wake up until morning.
One night the Los Angeles swat time surrounded my building. Helicopters swirled above the building. They were loud. They didn’t wake me. It wasn’t until the helicopter floodlights lit up my bedroom like a sunburst that I finally woke up. My body thought it was dawn. That’s how sound I sleep.
Once I wake up I’m full of cosmic energy ready to jump our of bed and dance to Pharrell’s “Happy” (which is quite the enjoyable sight to see).
But this morning I couldn’t get myself from the sleep state into the awake state. I was in limbo, the purgatory of sleep, and there was only one thing on my mind.
I couldn’t figure out how to spell the word “leisurely.” The alphabet was bouncing around in my brain like millions of pingpong balls. My frustration was bordering on hysterical. I kept wanting a dictionary but no dictionary was within reach. The one I keep beside my bed was nowhere to be found.
Leasurelee… leezureley… My mind was hurting.
Leasurelee… leezureley… My mind couldn’t remember.
Leasurelee… leezureley… My mind cried out for help from the Spelling Bee Gods.
The alphabet teased me relentlessly, bullying me with its letters, taunting me, laughing at me, humiliating me, shaming me…
I was scared I might never be able to spell correctly. It was like I was drowning in a sea of alphabet soup and there was no lifeguard to save me, no life jacket, and when I reached out the letters pulled away forcing me down down down to the bottom of the broth.
I held my breath. I gathered what little strength I had…
Leasurelee… leezureley… liesurely… no, no hell no!
Leasurelee… leezureley… L-E-I-S-U-R-E-L-Y… yeah!
I swam to the light and emerged from my alphabet hallucination…
And I sang Clap along if you know what happiness is to you… because I’m happy…. so friggin’ happy…