Saturday, October 3, 2009

Why, Paul? Why?

I know what you're thinking. But no, Paul did not eat food that belonged to me this week. He did not scavange my Biaggi's leftovers or even my leftover pizza. He was good.

However, Paul has discovered a whole new way to make my life miserable, something so horrible I cannot even begin to think of the appropriate torture I will use to break him of this behavior before it becomes habitual.

When I was getting ready for bed at eleven last night, Paul got a phone call. His cell phone ring is some crazy hard rock/electronica mix that just ends up scaring me every time it goes off, so it's a good thing it doesn't go off in my presence very much.

It was his friend and former college room mate, Jerome. Now, Jerome has been living in Indianapolis of late, and the two of them have spent little time together--meaning none. Jerome told Paul he was at their old dorm, and that Paul should come for what would undoubtedly be a party of the college variety (if you know what I mean).

Paul then did something that shocked us all no end. He said yes, got his keys, and he left for campus.

And we all went to bed, knowing he would be home late, if at all, because Paul is smart enough to know not to drive home drunk (we think, but his next move makes me question his overall intelligence in a way I never have before).

I was just falling asleep in my warm bed. I had plugged in my cell phone on my dresser, where it would sit through the night charging. My cell phone, in case you were wondering, is also my alarm clock. This is important to know.

Paul, obviously motivated by an exaggerated perception of his own importance, believed utterly that my mother (and, well, his too) was waiting up for him. He thought she opted out of sleep in order to sit on the couch doing sudoku after sudoku long after network television had stopped broadcasting television and had only infomercials and static, just waiting for him to open up the door and tell her all about what he'd done and who he'd seen.

So, because he's so understanding and caring as a son and fellow human being, he decided to contact her.

And because he's so smart and awesome and amazing, he used my cell phone to do it.

The tiny screen lit my dark room as the "New Text Message" alert popped up, and the happy jingle of new-ness broke the silence of my slumber as quickly as my alarm would have--because both are generated by the same little speaker and sound remarkably similar.

My eyes snapped open. I lept out of bed, since it was morning, right?

But as my feet touched the floor I knew it was still night (but I was wrong about that) and that I didn't need to wake up. Too bad, really. Because I already had.

At first, I thought it was one of Centennial-Freaking-Wireless' Spam Text Messages of Hatred and Dispair, but it turned out to be my brother. Here is what the message said:

"Hey make sure mom [sic] doesnt [sic] try to wait up for me or something. Ill [sic] be home too late for that. See ya [sic] tomorrow!"

I took the liberty of preserving his phrasing, to show you that he not only woke me up, but did so with poor grammar and word choice. Jerk.

I then noted that the time on my little cell phone clock read 1:00 am.

Some of you reading this might be the kind of people who would respond at this point, "So what?"

And so would I, usually. But I had my alarm set for 6:00 am. Because I have work today. Work. And that meant that I had a bedtime last night, a bedtime I adhered to in order to ensure that I would not suffer today.

I am suffering today.

Two shots of expresso has made me conscious of my surroundings and able to grunt replies, shelve books, and type like a monkey (you know, the monkey/Shakespeare reference?). But I am still suffering. My eyes are doing the thing where you think you aren't closing them often enough because they are so dry, even though you can hardly keep them open in the first place so you know blinking is happening.

It would take a full marching band playing right here in the Children's Room to wake me fully. Jen, get on that, would you?

Crap, you guys have a competition today, don't you?

I am so out of luck.

And I am left with some questions and a few answers. 1. Why me? Am I the one worried for Paul's well-being? No. Not really. He's a grown-up. He can take care of himself. 2. Did Paul really think I would be waiting up for him? Doubtful. Which means 3. He thought I was the only one who would bother to pick up the phone and therefore 4. He took advantage of that in order to achieve his true aim which was to make me suffer--fine, which was to make sure Mom wasn't worried.

Do you know what would have really made Mom not worry?

Calling her.

Stupid Paul. Waking me up for no stupid reason. Jerk.

Part of me wanted to text him back. To tell him all the horrible things I was thinking up. Punishments I wanted to inflict, etc. But I didn't have my contacts in, which meant I had to keep one eye shut or grab my glasses and it was dark so I would have had to turn on the light to text back. Part of me wanted to ignore the message and go back to sleep, but then no one would know my suffering and Paul might be right, Mom might have been waiting up to see how things went, in which case she would be worried and awake all night when only I could reassure her.

So I left my room, holding my phone in my hand (I had unplugged it). I found Mom still awake (not unusual) doing her sudoku (not unusual) on the couch where she sleeps now because Dad coughs all night like he has consumption and it keeps her awake all night long.

I think I said something like, "Paul texted me and woke me up. I'm not texting him back, because I think it will be a waste of time, because I want the next time he sees me to be the last, because it will directly precede me removing his eyes from their sockets and leaving him blind and unable to text message anyone except by feel. Stupid Jerk woke me up. Show him...texting me at one in the morning to tell me to give messages to people..."

Then I went back to bed, silencing everything on my phone except for my alarm and my ringtone, meaning that if he needed a ride home I would have gotten the call and come to his rescue, because I am a nice sister who does want him and all others to stay safe.

Clearly, I am understanding. But not so understanding as to give up a good night's sleep just to relay messages like some kind of human answering service. I am not a freaking secretary here. I am so not getting paid for it.

I should get paid for it.

He owes me a coffee.


When I "woke up" this morning, he was curled up in his bed, looking all innocent, and sleeping like he thought he'd done nothing wrong.

I wanted to walk in there and jump on his bed, throwing open his windows to let in light and screaming good morning songs at the top of my lungs...but 1. He'd sleep through the jumping 2. There was no light and 3. I would have woken up Dad, Mom, and Darcy for no reason other than to punish Paul.

They did not deserve punishments.

Neither did I.

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