One of my favorite xmas gifts was a poster sized print (with accompanying book) of Christopher David Ryan's "Sleepyheads". These black& white hand-drawn illustrations were inspired by sleepyheads on NYC's L train. The renderings are strikingly simple yet capture the unique personality of each sleeper.

I spent my entire college career commuting through Philly on the Broad Street Orange line or the C bus. It was easy to spot me or my classmates lugging our big art portfolios or projects through overcrowded buses or trains. Still I managed to catch some z's. And usually I had the internal alarm clock to wake myself up before my stop.

One day, the internal alarm clock was put on snooze and I overslept my stop. I only had two afternoon classes that day - meaning I slept in all morning. I'm the type of person that gets drowsy all day after sleeping in. The night before, I was locked out of my dorm room coming home from my friend's party. So I had to go back to this party and slept in a strange bed in the middle of the living room with drunk and high people stumbling around me. So on the following day, I fell asleep on the bus and woke up 30 minutes north of my school in the boonies. The bus was nearly empty and I was rubbing my eyes for 15 minutes trying to figure out where I was. I missed a good chunk of my American Ethnicity class. But it was an academic class at an art school - meaning it was a class routinely cut by self-absorbed art students.

On another occasion, I began nodding off at the back of a crowded C bus. The air was muggy with all sorts of body odors. I was clutching my backpack on my lap - squeezed between a fat guy and an elderly lady. I fall asleep and my head begins bobbing in all sorts of directions. Finally, my head rests on the shoulder of the old lady. I wake up momentarily during bumps and stops and catch myself sleeping on her. I pick up my head in embarrassment but then quickly fall asleep returning my head to her comfy shoulder. I repeat this for most of the ride until I finally get to my stop. I get up and sleepily apologize. She smiles and says, "Nevermind. Just get some rest tonight!" She chuckles and I mumbled, "I'll try..." and shuffle my way off the bus into a blinding sunlight.


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