As I awaken each morning, it takes 10 minutes for me to transition from a lethargic stupor to a Richard Simmons-like state of energy. On most occasions, however, my habitual procrastination entails that I won’t have the luxury of spending those 10 minutes sitting up in bed and staring idly into space. Friday, however, is the one day of the week when I have these precious 600 seconds to do with as I please. Consequently, I have made it my personal mission to transform the 10-minute period it takes me to acclimate myself with the day each Friday morning into the most pleasurable 10 minutes of my life.
Opening my eyes at 11:50 a.m. on one particular Friday, I couldn’t help but smile at the thought that my girlfriend was a good four hours into her day and my suitemates were all in class. So, to set the mood, I opened up my iTunes and blasted my “wake up mix”- a compilation of songs from George Michael, Ace of Base, Gloria Estefan and the Spice Girls.
I couldn’t be happier. As I looked to my left, I noticed that there was an unopened Hi-C juice box sitting on my desk. After my initial astonishment that Hi-C boxed juices were still being made, I pumped in the straw and sucked down the “Torrential Tropical Punch”-flavored Hi-C. Drinking the Hi-C ended up being a mistake, however, as it was responsible for temporarily evoking a traumatizing childhood memory: At the age of seven, I was drinking a Hi-C juice box and watching “Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?” on TV. During the first commercial break, midway through that juice box, my dad suddenly walked into the bedroom and changed the channel to CNN.
“Change it back!” I screamed. My dad simply chuckled and increased the volume to drown out my yelling. It was then that I heard the newscaster say, “People from across the globe have come together in widespread mourning over the news that the band Tears for Fears has broken up.”
Of course the true atrocity in this instance is that the show “Where in the World in Carmen Sandiego” was cancelled in the first place. Every day since the beginning of freshman year, I have searched the Internet like Jeeves in hopes of finding a coveted 20-minute episode of my favorite childhood show. But, every day, I am disappointed to see porn come up as the only results of the search. That disappointment is only exacerbated by the poor digital quality of these pornos that I inevitably end up watching, but I digress?.
As I heard the song “Africa” wind down to its conclusion, I realized that the time had come for me to begin the next stage of my waking-up process. Allow me preface this next phase with a story. In my early teenage years, I attended a sleep-away camp in the Catskill Mountains. Each year, our camp would compete with the camp across the river, Camp Morningwood, in an athletic decathlon, and every time we would inevitably lose. Such a losing tradition had developed in my camp that upon the first night of my arrival, my counselor reminded me, “You can’t beat Morningwood.” But how proud that counselor would be today to find out that I triumph over morningwood on a daily basis!
To set the mood, I turned on the George Michael song “Careless Whisper.” I then opened the file on my computer named “Carmen does San Diego,” and, a minute later, stage two was complete.
As is typically the case, my completion of stage two facilitated my regression back into my previously dreary stupor. In my final moments of consciousness, I thrust my head toward the window on my left and gazed upon the world I was rapidly slipping away from. Outside it was another beautiful Rochester day: 12 degrees, grey, slight blizzard.
Overcome with a newfound resolve, I rolled myself to the edge of my bed and allowed myself to fall off, possibly dislocating my shoulder. I then rose to my feet and stripped off my clothes. Naked and my shoulder throbbing in pain, I burst through the door of my room with a roundhouse kick and sprinted toward my suite’s balcony. I stopped for a moment at the balcony door and let out a deep breath. I was ready. Closing my eyes, I pushed open the door and stepped through the powdery snow to the balcony’s edge.
With my arms spread wide and my back slightly arched, I rose my head toward the sky and opened my eyes. A rush of cold swept over my body as I felt the blanket of fatigue being cast aside. The noontime chimes began to resonate in the distance and I lowered my gaze. It was only then that I noticed the group of high school students and their parents standing below me, all of them staring at me with looks of bewilderment. At the front of the group, a father turned to his son and said, “Well that settles it, you’re not coming here.”
Schwartz is a Take Five Student.