Waking up is hard to do
Like any other Bible School in America’s Deep South, the University of Florida has a love of guns and the Second Amendment that is undeniable.

1974“Earache My Eye”
Cheech and Chong
((( 7AM )))

buster o’connor

With the subtlety of a talkative woman on speed, the alarm clock shrills its morning message.

Gayoso’s nervous system reacts immediately. The blood pressure that had remained at such a low level for the past eight hours now poounds at a disco beat. Confused blood cells ruch to the brain, realize nothing is going on up there, and run back into the body to ask for directions to the feet, which fully enjoyed their eight-hour vacation, want nothing to do with the blood cells or anything that reminds them of waking and stuffy shoes. The blood then rushes to the arms, only to run into a “Do not disturb sign.”

Minutes later, Gayoso’s left eye opens slightly and surmises the situation. “It’s kind of dark out, there’s this buzzing sound coming out of the closk radio and you’re body is lying in a horizontal position,” the eye relates to the unattentive brain.

“Morning,” the brain decides.

“Shhhiiitt!” the mouth says loudly, almost independently of the rest of his senses.

What a way to start the day, he thinks to himself as he attempts to secure the use of his left side. Saliva inadvertantly trickles from the limp corner of his mouth.

“This is disgusting,” his brain thinks. “This day sucks already, and it’s not even one minute old.”

Gayoso always has placed waking up in the morning just behind having his back massaged with a freshly sharpened hoe on his list of most-hated sensations. The thought of being unnaturally awakened by an insensitive machine makes him want to be a rock. As a rock, he wouldn’t have to  worry about sleep at all — or eating and drinking for that matter. Of course, there always would be that threat of erosion.

There is no escape. Finally, after a minute of debate, Gayoso’s brain tells his right arm to shut the blasted clock off. In the disorientation and silence of the moment, Gayoso begins to mutter sentences in Latin — which is strange because he doesn’t know how to speak or write the language.

“Get up. You gotta go to first-period,” his brain barks to the rest of his body. But in the haste of shutting the alarm clock off,  no part of the body bothered to wake up the back.

With a little less nobility than most people that have been dead for more than an hour have, Gayoso attempts to rise in a somewhat stinted show of glory.

Unfortunately, the boundaries of fiction do not allow us to fully describe the awkwardness of his morning actions. But to put it in literary terms; If pure grace is poetry, ththen Gayoso at 7 a.m. is a sentence fragment with misspelled words.

Arms and legs have become so ignorant after eight hours of sleep that they have forgotten how to perfom their duties. Anarchy usurps the body and takes blood from the brain hostage. Consequently, with each attempt to raise the head, a dizzying rush clouds the mind into submissio.

Bordering on complete irrationality, Gayoso makes decisions that will affect the rest of his day. “No shower today,” he thinks. “I’ll save time and sleep 10 more minutes.”

Believing that 10 minutes will make a measurable difference after eight hours of peaceful slumber, Gayoso closes his eyes.

“I’ll only close them for a second,” he thinks confidently. “I’ll skip shaving. It’s too dangerous at this time of the morning anyway … I may as well use a French guillotine to do the job for the amount of cuts I’ll get. At least I wouldn’t feel the pain.

“Yeah, I can just keep my eyes closed and rest myself out of this sleep. But, boy, I could drift off so easily if …”

A mile away, a UF marketing teacher begins his 8 a.m. lecture. Gayoso is still in bed, asleep again. He lost his bout with trying to wake up, but only temporarily.

Two hours later he’ll try again. And that my friends is perseverance.



The ease with which sleep can be terminated differentiates it from coma, general anesthesia, alcohol stupor, the seasonal lethargy of hibernating animals, and the cofounded appearance of college students with a first period class.

In an apartment somewhere in Gainesville on a weekday at 7 a.m. UF senior Jay Gayoso lies contentedly and unconsciously in his bed unaware of the impending shock of a new day. He has an unassuming look on his face, the type of look that usually accompanies a person that accidedntally lived through an unsuccessful brain operation.