the insufferable insufflate
I sat in the plush leather seat, giddy with delight to have a couple hours to myself, alone with a book in the cafe of my favorite bookshop. Robert Frost says that “Happiness makes up in height what it lacks in length.” And so I sipped my latte, leafed through the pages of my book, and relished the silence.
“KNOOOOGHUUUUUCKKKKKUUUUUUGHH AAAAAA HEEEEMMMMM!!!!!”
I recoiled with ninja like reflexes, expecting there to be something resembling a small explosion. There sat a man, with a book facedown on his chest, inhaling deeply, eyes closed, with a goofy smile on his face. He was sleeping. He was in a very deep sleep. He was snoring.
At first, I was so annoyed. I thought of getting up and nudging him, saying “Excuse me sir, you must have fallen asleep.” All of the other latte drinkers shared in my scorn for this snoring leviathan, disturbing our intellectual repast.
Then, the man snored so loud, he knocked the book off of his stomach. He looked around. He smiled at his audience. He stood up, stretched, moved to a more comfortable chair, and… immediately fell back asleep. He was a professional. He did this regularly.
My rage turned to admiration. What a funny person. In fact, I then found him to be so funny, I thought that he was hysterical. I started laughing so loud, so hard, I had tears running down my face. After a while, he heard me laughing, and woke up. He smiled, and returned to his snoring opera. It seems like life offers you the funniest material, when you are sad and need it the most.
There’s something in me that loves the fellow in the National Gallery in London who tripped down a flight of steps, bumped into the famous and priceless Greek vase, and shattered it. There is something in me that loves the kid who caught the ball over the edge of the wall of the stadium, and lost the world series for some baseball team (was it the Yankees?) There is something in me that loves the Eliza Dolittle, at the horse races, screaming “Cooome on Dova, MOOOVE YER BlOOODY ARSE!!!” As I sat and hastily sketched this man, watching his immense stomach heave up and down, watching the scrunched up faces emerge from books to sneer through black rimmed glasses… I was in heaven.