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Published on October 21st, 2013 | by Richard Black


Driving with Narcolepsy and My Daughter’s Thoughts About Weight

I had the good fortune today, as I often do, to drop off my daughter at school. I’m not saying that it’s a pleasure to leave my daughter in the care of others I trust so that I have time to shop for groceries, a fetching new fedora or even just take a nap. Then again maybe that’s exactly what I’m saying.

On a good day it’s about a thirty minute round trip to take my daughter to school and get back home which isn’t all that bad if I happen to be nominally awake, which I am most of the time. Sometimes though the weather gets chilly, the heater in the car gets the best of me and I’m fairly certain I’m a bit of a danger on the road. Fortunately for me, and my daughter,  I drive a vehicle that could plow through a two story brick home with nary a scratch. This is, of course, unfortunate for the homeowners and commuters along my route to Darcy’s school but we live in a nasty dog eat dog world and I’ve made my peace with the fact.

Recently, the weather dipped into the low fifties and high forties where I live and there’s really nothing like a warm moving car for a soporific to lull a person gently to sleep as he or she is driving one’s child to school.

Whereas most people lug a gallon of coffee along for their morning commute I cannot. Caffeine and I don’t get along.I have been explicitly instructed by my wife to never, ever, do three things.

The first is that I am never to sleep with another man or woman. As a side note I have yet to determine if pleasuring myself in the company of others breaks this rule but I haven’t found the appropriate time to bring it up.

The second is that I am never to chew gum. Surprisingly enough I’m so physically inept that I cannot perform more than one physical act at a time. When chewing gum and doing anything more complicated than breathing I tend to chip my teeth, usually right before an important public function like a wedding.

The third and final rule is that I am never, under and circumstances, to drink a caffeinated beverage or any stimulant.

Give me one cup of coffee and I could charm the pants off of a nun or convince a Hell’s Angel to give me his ride. Thirty minutes later I’d tell Scorch I wouldn’t use his bike to deliver newspapers. I don’t want to discuss what happened with the nun.

I’m certain there’s a name for this condition but I don’t have the desire or will to look it up on WebMD. Suffice it to say that caffeine and I have parted ways.

Until then, instead of bonging a cup of joe to keep my eyes open I’ll resort to more extreme measures like listening to the sitar on public radio or punching myself in the balls. I’m not saying that it’s as good as a grande double caf latte reverse enema but it gets the job done.

And so it was with bruised tenders and walking slightly hunched over with a screaming headache from the sitar music in the car that I successfully shepherded Darcy into her classroom at school. It was then I noticed the posterboard display by her classroom door.

There’s usually some sort of display by the door. Most of them are about concepts. The recent theme has been opposites. What is bright? What is dark? What is rough and various other questions of an existential nature.

The theme this time around, written in jaunty red marker, was “things that are heavy,” and next to each child’s name was a response. Most of my daughter’s classmates came up with answers like “giant” or “dumptruck”.

Next to my daughter’s name was the the word “Daddy.”

The apple truly does not fall far from the tree.

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