It is late afternoon. And in the tropics it means that the sun is blazing away mercilessly. It is that time of the day when the trees hunch their shoulders waiting for a breeze to lift their spirits, when the plants curl their leaves to keep cool and the normally vocal birds drop a few decibels. One can only hear a caw here or a muted chirp there.
I am sitting on the couch trying to catch up on my reading. And slowly the intruder walks up my hands, my shoulders and my neck and gently presses down on my eyes. Oh! The pleasure of catching a few winks.
My body relaxes, as my eyes close involuntarily. The words blur in front of my eyes, dancing into each other. My head starts lolling to one side, my body starts keening to the right.The brain is alerted suddenly, as it knows that I am going to topple over. As if by magic, my body straightens itself, and again the eyes droop and the lolling starts.
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The book starts its journey from my lap to the floor. The characters from the book inhabit my dreams, as I fall deeper into layers of sleep.
The cuckoo from the cuckoo clock announces the hour. I am startled awake. I realize that it has only been 10 minutes since I fell asleep. I stretch and smile.
I feel so refreshed and good.
“Must be genetic”, I say to myself. My family has many ‘afternoon couch nappers’.
I remember happy and lazy Sunday weekends when aunts, uncles and my dad would nap, while sitting on the couch and reading a book or the newspaper. My cousins and I would giggle as we saw them nod off, or watch their books slide down, or hear gentle snores escaping them.
The moment you shook them awake and asked them to lie down, they would become alert and lose all interest in napping..they could only steal a few winks while seated. I miss those fun days.
At least the ‘afternoon nap’ genes have been passed down.