Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Aimless Reading: The G's, Part 7 (Merrill Gilfillan)

Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
Gilfillan, Merrill

Sent as a review copy by the publisher. I wrote a glowing review of it way back when -- it's a great book.

California seems to be fading out of consciousness for the time being.

I am thinking about other memories of morning. I never had any trouble waking up in the morning until I got a bit older. I recall visiting some cousins, all of whom I looked up to and who also slept in on weekends. I tried imitating their sleeping habits when we visited. It didn't take right away, but after a time I began to sleep in a little later on the weekends. When I hit seventh grade and started to have all kinds of emotional/social issues, I began to sleep much later. It became difficult to get out of bed in the morning.

When, in eighth grade I began ingesting alcohol and all manner of controlled substances, my need for sleep grew. I would sleep until noon, one, even two PM of a Saturday after having snuck out the night before to go party with my friends. By the time I got to high school it took a lot of effort for my parents to get me out of bed each morning for school. Part of this was due staying up late (I also developed insomnia around this time), part of it to partying, and part of it to a generally negative disposition toward the world. I really didn't want to face it everyday and sleep was the easiest way to stay out of things.

I can remember my morning wake-up routine throughout high school went something like this: my mother would come in at around 6:30 and say, Rise and Shine, Michael. I'd say, Five More Minutes. Five minutes later, Breakfast is ready. Five more minutes. Your coffee's getting cold. Five more minutes. She'd then leave the room. A minute or two would pass, then suddenly the sheets would be ripped from the bed. I'd feel my father's cold hands grip my ankles and I'd feel my body being dragged slowly toward the edge of the bed. Then I'd hear his voice as he begin to sing, "O what a beautiful morning/O what a beautiful day/I've got a beautiful feeling/Everything's going my way..." Sometimes I would manage to wake up before he pulled me off the bed. Other times, Plop!

In lieu of an excerpt, you can read my review of the book here:

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