Do you have a friend with narcolepsy? I have two!
No, I am not going to give you one of them. What is your problem?! First of all, your question seems to indicate a very lax attitude towards human trafficking. Second of all, how am I going to mail one to you?
You have to think these things through.
Where was I before you injected your shaky morality? Oh yeah… my friends with narcolepsy.
They’ll nod off on you if you’re not careful. Or if you are careful. In fact, they’ll nod off pretty much regardless of what you do. The point is, when they nod off all you can do is let it happen and go back to building an exact replica of the Battleship Roma in a full bottle of Campari. You know, to honor its sinking in 1943. I am talking about the ship, not the bottle. She was a Littorio-class battleship that had a full compliment of nearly 2,000 people. I am talking about the boat, not the person with narcolepsy. The boat (better?) had a full speed of 30kn and a propulsion made up of four steam
Sorry, I nodded off.
Anyway, when talking to my lovely friend in a nearby city, I had gotten used to her dipping in and out of the conversation as night time waddled in. I find it adorable. Like watching a video of a fuzzy, adorable little kitten nodding off and waking up, except this time the kitten is an adorable 42-year old woman and video is audio. Granted, she is not as fuzzy as a kitten but you have to love people for who they are.
During phone conversations, she would nod off multiple times with me waiting for her to come back up so we could resume talking. Well, I’m telling a lie here. Waiting for her to come back up so I can jabber constantly in her ear and try to see if there is an actual limit to her limitless patience.
Then I realized: what a waste of her time! Not me jabbering. I am always fascinating, witty, and inspirational. No, I am talking about the between times when she is sleeping.
If TV taught me ANYTHING (and it has taught me EVERYTHING), it has taught me that people are amazing learning machines when they sleep. They could be jerky-gnawing buffoons when they are awake, but read “A Brief History of Time” to them while they sleep and sooner or later they’re creating the Grand Unified Theory.
So I’ve started teaching her conversational French while she sleeps.
It’s early days. I don’t know if it has born fruit yet. She lives in a different city, so my day-to-day interaction with her is more like once-a-week-to-once-a-week. I don’t know any of her friends well enough to ask them to observe her on the sly for any signs of “Frenchiness.” All I can do is hope and wait.
I have so far fought the urge to whisper “je suis le fromage” over and over again in her ear as she sleeps. This despite the fact that everyone at some point in their lives should realize “I am the cheese.” I suspect it is too soon to introduce a major existential identity crisis via unconscious language lessons. O, manly self-restraint!
But why stop here? I am going to create an entire curriculum for the narcoleptics in my life. Among the courses I am going to offer are:
- An Overview Of Aristotle’s Unities
- The Hidden Dirty Jokes In Heisod’s “Works and Days”
- British Female Poetry of the 19th Century
- Late Republic/Early Roman Empire Philosophers
- Conversational Sumerian
- Biblical Attitudes Toward Car Repair
- The Episemological View Of Man As Set Out In Wordsworth’s “Tintern Abbey”
- Russian Formalist Criticism As Applied To The Works Of E.L. James
By the time I have finished with her, she’ll be well rested AND able to quote selections from Dio Chysostom’s Discourse Number Six (On Diogenes and Tyrany) in French! Or Sumerian. No bigs to me.
What am I charging for this amazing service? Sit down. Make sure your sphincter is loose. And call your parents every so often, what does it take?
Nothing. I am charging none money.
I do this for the great love I have for all of humanity. And hearing my own deep, resonant voice as I slaughter yet another French phrase. In about a week, she should be able to use her stupefying French powers to find the location of the toilet, declare her desire to buy small things, and ask why people won’t call their parents.
And when she looks at me, tears of gratitude welling in her brown and steel-ringed eyes, the whisper of “merci beaucoup mec merveilleux” pooling on her lips, I will say what we all know:
I am SO totally awesome.