Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Today I scouted out an empty armchair in the corner of the library and settled myself in it: put down my bag, took off my glasses, draped my sweatshirt around myself. Then I curled up and went to sleep.

There's something funny about sleeping in public. For one thing, you're vulnerable. Someone could walk up and steal your stuff or otherwise take advantage of you, when your eyes are shut and your brain is fabricating its own visions of worlds where the normal laws of causality are suspended. Sleeping in public is an act of trust, a mark of either stupidity or privilege. The fact that I can sleep in the middle of a public space with no ill repercussions says so much about the society I exist in. Sure, it has its problems, but overall? So safe.

Another thing: sleeping is normally done in the privacy of one's own space. By sleeping in the library, do I (in some sense) give up my privacy? While sleeping, I am not putting up a front or presenting myself as this or that. I am simply there. Watch me, judge me, I won't know.

One minute before my alarm would have gone off (cellphone vibrating in my pocket), I woke to a room full of strangers. I got up, put on my glasses, and resumed my attempts to function in society.

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