To my great regret, I no longer know how to be lazy, and summer is no fun without sloth. Indolence requires patience—to lie in the sun, for instance, day after day—and I have none left. When I could, it was bliss. I lived liked the old Greeks, who knew nothing of hours, minutes, and seconds. No wonder they did so much thinking back then. When Socrates staggered home late after a day of philosophizing with Plato, his bad-tempered wife Xantippe could not point to a clock on the wall as she started chewing him out.
In my youth, I had a reputation of being extraordinarily lazy. My fame extended beyond our neighborhood. When my name was mentioned, my teachers in school used to roll their eyes and cross themselves. My mother could not agree more. She’d tell about the day I started for school wearing just one shoe, and when I realized my mistake, instead of going back home to get the other, I stayed where I was in the street watching a piano being lifted to several stories up to some apartment, till I was late for school.
“He’s a dreamy child,” one of my aunts used to say in my defense. I didn’t like to hear her say that, but today I’m ready to admit that daydreaming used to be my favorite occupation, especially in summer. As soon as the weather got hot, I looked for a shady place to lie down. When I got bored with daydreaming, I took a nap. One time I dozed off on the Oak Street Beach in Chicago and didn’t wake till it was almost evening, surprised to see the empty beach, the tall buildings along the lake already in shadow, and feel my back hurting from the sun and my head not knowing for a moment how I got there. After getting up and stretching, yawning, and scratching for a while, I sat down once again and thought to myself, How wonderful all this is.
[Photo Via: Bull Days]