Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Operation Snooze has begun.

After an inventory of my vices, I found that even my most modest pleasures are tainted. The sticky fingers of consumerism are everywhere and grasping. Fun has become synonymous with opening my wallet. Everything I eat and wear is trucked in with fossil fuel. And if it isn’t vintage, it’s probably made in sweatshops. Love evaporates, shoes wear out. Favorite restaurants close or get written up in glossy weeklies and become so overrun with tourists that you can’t get in the door. Everything is exploitative, everything is ephemeral. (My name is not Samsara for nothing, ya know.) Is there any thing, activity or pastime that is an unalloyed good? Something that hurts no one. I found one magical thing: sleep. It’s free, doesn’t come in plastic wrap, and as far as I know it can’t hurt me. And so: Operation Snooze.

The plan is to sleep as much as possible over the next weeks. Ideally 9 or 10 hours per night. Simple. Or so I thought. I’ll just put my frizzy head on the pillow every night by 10:30. I’ll have so much sleep I awaken at 6 and go for a jog. The circles under my eyes with vanish. I will face frustration and subway delays with equanimity. I’ll find effortless solutions to stupid problems that have perplexed me for years. I’ll develop boddhichitta (loving kindness) towards everyone, even conservatives. In short, I’ll become another person.

On day two of Operation Snooze, I would have to say: balderdash. The only difference so far is that I'm not tired.

And of course, my apartment has decided to act up.

My apartment is something out of a Roman Polanski movie. Think, “The Tenant”, or “Repulsion”. Walls crack, ceilings collapse, water leaks into the light fixtures. Neighbors are taken away in handcuffs. If my life were a movie, my apartment would play itself and get top billing.

People say to me: Samsara, you must get out of there. Until I say the magic words: rent-stabilized.

The slumlord has turned on the heat and it is now about 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Even though I turned off the radiator, the pipes are hot enough to make tea. Not ideal sleeping conditions. Perhaps tonight I'll break down and turn on the airconditioner.


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