I awoke this morning in the midst of one of my many dreams wherein I need to use a bathroom and cannot find them. Unlike most such mornings, I didn’t actually have to go. It was my subconscious’ idea of a joke.
However, it did remind me of the opening to my 1st book, Discovery, which was, in turn, based on a dream I once had. Recursive serendipity, I’d say. Anyway, here is the opening of the book, which I hope you’ll read, because it’s silly, emotional, and fun.
Plus, they give me money when you buy one. Heh. (A brotha’s gotta retire someday.)
Charlie hated mornings. This was due, in no small part, to his having the sleep habits of a caffeine-addicted owl. Often, he was just falling asleep as the neighborhood’s early birds were awakening. For Charlie, getting up was a thing to be savored over the course of an hour or so. He always started his day the same way: by hammering his alarm clock with a closed fist, falling back asleep, arguing with his sister who had been sent to get him up, and then stumbling out of bed, eyes closed, into the bathroom, to empty his bladder.
Those were the good old days.
Recent mornings meant a surreptitious sprint to the bathroom. As if starting the day shortly after falling asleep were not bad enough, lately, he woke up … like that. Once, his dad had caught him before he could pee, stopped, saluted, and said, “Ten Hut!” Charlie had no idea what he meant at the time, but when everyone else laughed, he knew it could not be good. His mom had chastised the family, and consoled him by stating it was a perfectly normal thing for an eleven-year-old boy. Still, the damage had been done, as his red cheeks attested.
Though he had inherited his mother’s caramel color, Charlie’s skin seemed to flush at the slightest embarrassment. It was a gift, he reckoned, from his father, along with curly brown hair, deep dimples, broad shoulders, and spectacularly average height. It was one thing to be humiliated by virtue of a joke he didn’t understand. It was worse to have his entire family be able to read his embarrassment.
Charlie staggered into the bathroom, and after completing his mission, opened his eyes for the first time.
What’s the refrigerator doing in the bathroom?
He had the right to be confused. Charlie, as it turned out, was in the middle of an excellent nightmare. It took him a full ten seconds to realize he was standing in the kitchen, dressed, facing the open refrigerator. He was certain there was a toilet there moments ago. He hoped he had not just peed into the open vegetable crisper; however, he decided against looking down to check. He was certain his mom would let him know if he had.
Breakfast consisted of a single kernel of oat cereal in a big bowl of water. Even in his dream, Charlie thought his breakfast a bit odd, but apparently, not odd enough to awaken him from his deep slumber. His hunger sated, he walked the quarter mile to his bus stop, and stood there, alone, waiting. After eternity passed, after the sun grew to a great orange ball of sputtering hydrogen, after the first two planets melted in admiration, and all the stars in heaven were visibly moved, the bus finally showed up. It was a Greyhound with “Middul Skool” on the front panel.
Middle school is going to rock.