Sometimes in the Morning


fiction by Robert Lopez


This is what happens; I wake up, sometimes in the morning. There is nothing to do. It’s like zero plus zero every day around here and it never changes. I don’t know much about math but it’s like the saying says, I’m almost sure. Still, I can’t say I’m entirely sure about anything, though, except for how I wake up, sometimes in the morning, with nothing to do. Now it’s important to know that I don’t want anyone to drown, but I’d like to see a team of lifeguards run into the water and drag some poor bastard to shore. This is what I think about when I wake up in the morning. I think about this because there’s nothing to do and there’s no law against thinking this. I could eat breakfast, sure, but then what. I would only have to eat lunch a few hours later and then what. Anyone can see what I mean, where I’m going. This is what happens every day and how it happens every day, starting when I wake up, sometimes in the morning, so it’s no different. There’s time to think about people drowning, about someone the ocean got the better of, someone who caught a lungful of water and became disoriented. This is when life gets interesting, when it’s not the old song and dance step, when it’s not like waking up in the morning with nothing to do. I’ve never been drowned myself, but there are lots of things I haven’t done starting with the same old song and dance step. I’ve never been singing or dancing, so I don’t know the same old song and dance step myself. But this doesn’t mean I can’t think about what I haven’t done before. I have an imagination so I know what it’s like to sing and dance, what it’s like to drown. I know what it’s like to be under water unable to surface. I was inside a womb like everyone else. That’s what it’s like in there; it’s like drowning for nine months straight. This is why I haven’t been in the water since because who wants to go through that again. Maybe someday, though, if I think about it, which I do sometimes, in the morning, if I wake up, meaning I can’t discount it, wanting to swim. It’s probably the only way you can watch someone drown. You have to put yourself in a position to watch someone drown, you have to be near water, after all. People can’t drown without water and someone isn’t going to come over to your house and drown themselves solely for your benefit. This much I know. Every day I look out the kitchen window and I never see anyone drowning. I look out like this right after I wake up in the morning, though sometimes I wake up after noon, it’s true. It makes no difference when I wake up, like it makes no difference who might be out there drowning in the front yard. There is probably a song about this, how it makes no difference who is drowning out there in the front yard, and there’s probably a dance to go with it, but I don’t know that old song and dance. It’s probably just as well, just like it’s better to watch someone else drown than have others watching you drown, watching some skinny eighteen year old beat your chest with spindly arms, while another blows bad air into your mouth and counts one two three four. As if all that adds up and can help you breathe, as if all that will wake you up.



Robert Lopez