I cannot take a nap, at least not on purpose. Whenever I try, I twist and turn as if my wrists are tied behind my back and I have to work myself free. Try as I may to fall asleep, I cannot help obsessing about the things I should be doing, worrying that I may feel worse when I wake up, that I may have insomnia from having slept earlier in the day. A nap has to sneak up on me like a big cat stalking its prey, pouncing on me while I’m listening to jazz in my easy chair, or reading the short stories of Herman Melville. The older I get, the easier prey I become for such naps. When I wake up from naps, I’m usually confused, even disoriented. Where is everyone? What time is it? Why am I reading Herman Melville? Who is that man knocking at the door? Or am I merely dreaming of a man knocking at the door?
One in 30 American children are homeless, and, overwhelmingly, the two most common causes are economics and parental abuse. That’s the statistic I heard driving to school Monday morning. The outside temperature, 21 degrees, was a stark contrast to my car’s heated seats and comfort. In the three months since school began, I have known four students who have been without a place to stay. I hoped they were somewhere warm while I was listening to this radio report.