Saturday, August 2, 2008

Riding the Bus

I take the bus. I like the bus. It's really great. Well, it's a lot better than driving through rush-hour traffic (or any traffic, really).

I have spent many hours on the bus napping, reading, writing emails, posting sleep logs, and talking on my phone--things you either can't or are not allowed to do while driving. But there is one problem:
Although I'm usually tired on the bus, I've become an information junky, which leads to less sleep than usual. It would be a great place and time to take a nap but my newest addictions to twitter, blogging, reading RSS and being a ninja (even sleep deprived) make that an unlikely scenario.

Today, there is a Chinese speaking couple sitting right across from me. They are chatting away in Mandarin and as I'm fondling my twitter client, I'm trying to eavesdrop on their conversation, listening for the few dozen mandarin words I know. In my addiction to data absorbtion, I've been neglecting the practice of my Chinese output, so learning the language in any useful sense has been rather slow. Nonetheless, I'm exited by languages. I love them. When I'm drowning in a sea of words that I don't know, I simply close my eyes, absorb and smile. It's beautiful, musical, sensual.

One of the unfortunate effects of being sleepy but not wanting to fall asleep and, at the same time, being an info-junky--and getting more information than the sleepy mind can process--is the unexpected cameo of a random, uncontrollable erection. What? Yes, you heard me right, but pay attention to the context, this isn't the creepy, gross kind, not like, "damn, that girl is hot and I'm thinking about sex... hehe, cool!" Not like that. I'm not some pervert on the bus trying to get jollies off on strangers. Granted, as with the aforementioned licentious scenario, my situation is spontaneous and really freaking embarrassing. Don't get me wrong, erections are cool and I like having them as much as the next guy. However, the Sleep Deprivation Ninja doesn't like to sport the gear when it's not in use.

But when Sleep Deprivation Ninja gets really, really tired and still struggles to stay awake for the wrong reasons, his body tends to fight back. It says, "Hey, guess what. I'm pumping in some sleepy chemicals that are going to make you all warm and fuzzy and you are going to feel really introverted and curl up into a little ball and sleep." Even though nobody can see the inner turmoil of the ninja battling his bio-chemistry when it's happening, this feels more than a little awkward on the northbound downtown bus at rush-hour. Sleep Dep Ninja thinks to himself as he casually peruses the faces of nearby passengers: "Is anyone staring at the huge bulge in my pants? No... wait, maybe.... no. OK, good. Now to make it go away."

Sleep Deprivation Ninja (thinking to himself): "Ninja focus!"
Chinese Woman (deciphered from Mandarin): "-- -- American, ---- -- -- very big --- - --."
Chinese Man (likewise): *chuckles* "Yes! I --- --- very big --- - --."
SDN: "Focus!"
CW: "Why -- -- --- your ----"
CM (looking offended): "--? My -- --- very big -- --!"
SDN: "Oh, drats. Body, you have bested me. Maybe I can unlock the Wii Fit exercise to master my erection later."

Sleep Deprivation Ninja allows his mind to falter, his sleepiness consumes him, masking his embarrassment. As he looses consciousness, the bus begins to slow down; the sun begins to set; the world begins to dim; When Sleep Deprivation Ninja falls asleep, everything and everyone fades out of existence, to be reborn only when he wakes.


Captain Dumbass said...

Thanks SDJ, you've made my morning. I over hear a lot of these conversations from my in-laws in their special mixture of Cantonese and Lao but it's usually more along the lines of:
"....bigger...stronger dose..."
"No....must look.....accident...."

I know they love me.

I prefer getting to work in my own car, but the bus is such a material-rich environment. Not to mention trying to use the damn iPod keyboard while driving is a real pain in the ass. Good thing those other cars are there to keep me in my lane.

Unknown said...

SDJ is Sleep Deprivation Jedi. He won't be around until after we colonize Mars... but keep your eyes peeled :)

Jasper Mockingbard said...

Ha ha ha ha!

It's fantastic that SDN utlizes public transportation. No doubt the ninja mind has a complete understanding of the benefits... Can SDN ride a unicycle?

Unknown said...

Actually, I used to ride my unicycle everyday to school and to work. I take it out every now and then but only when I'm trying to impress the chicks while giving a grand ass-kicking.
My wife has a unicycle too... but she hasn't mastered it yet. Once she does, we will be unstoppable.

I also play the accordion.

Anonymous said...

"When I'm drowning in a sea of words that I don't know, I simply close my eyes, absorb and smile. It's beautiful, musical, sensual."

I'm really feeling that statement. I spent a while in Europe and really enjoyed just sitting back and reveling in my incomprehension (Is that a word? It fits - if it's not already a word, then dibs)..I felt so raw and overstimulated when I came home and went out in public..