I have to be honest with you.

When you called me at 1 p.m. the other day and I failed to answer, I wasn’t hard at work and I wasn’t busily running errands like a good boy.

I wasn’t across town reading to the sick and infirm and I wasn’t bringing canned goods to elderly shut-ins.

I was asleep, OK? I was asleep at 1 p.m., and if I heard the phone at all, I just muttered a few swear words at it and pulled the blankets up over my head.

I was asleep in the middle of the day and now I’m here confessing to it like a man who has done something shameful. You broke me. My shame is great.

There are two things I hate about my bed: I hate retreating to it when it’s nighttime, and I hate rising from it in the morning.

Sleep itself is blissful. It’s the two ends of it that suck.

Every night is largely the same for me. I promise to go to bed at a reasonable hour like a responsible adult. I work at night, so 2 a.m. would be a decent compromise. Go to bed at 2 a.m. and you can still get out of bed before noon and nobody will roll their eyes at you and accuse you of being an unrepentant layabout.

Then 2 a.m. comes around and I’m getting a second wind. Maybe I’m on a roll writing that novel about a man who suspects his wife might be a serial killer. You’d read that, right?

Or maybe I’m just caught in an endless loop of YouTube videos (“Dogs Who Fail at Being Dogs,” Ha!) and I can’t quite make that 2 a.m. deadline. Just two more videos and I’ll go to bed after that, OK?

Then 3 a.m. rolls around and, didn’t I hear something about a meteor shower this morning? I’ve got to go outside and wander the backyard like some indecisive burglar, tripping over lawn chairs and completely unnerving the neighbors.

Morning birds start chirping. A band of pale blue appears at the edge of the eastern sky. Maybe if I wait long enough, the paperboy will talk to me.

I just don’t want to go to bed, OK? It’s scary in there and clowns will eat me. And then, in eight hours or so, I won’t want to get out of it, because sleep is just so awesome once you finally get there.

It’s a grand paradox and it will punish you. Humans are designed to be up with the sun, so while the rest of the world follows the rules of nature, they will also heap scorn on your pajama-covered carcass for staying in bed all day.

Want to go to the beach with your pals? You’ll have to get up at a decent hour because who wants to go to the beach at 4 in the afternoon?

Road trip? Get up, you weasel, it’s almost 8 a.m.

Doctor’s appointment? They’ll insist you be there by 9 and then remark that you look overly tired. Have you been getting enough sleep?

Want cable television, phone or internet service? The utility dude will be there between 8 and 10 a.m. and you better be there to greet him.

Santa Claus? Dude won’t even acknowledge you if he finds you up at 3 in the morning watching hilarious cat videos on YouTube. No sense getting up early, my friend, because Kris Kringle, the judgmental worm, didn’t leave you squat.

Being a chronically late sleeper is like being a teenager, only instead of Ma yelling at you to get out of bed, it’s the whole world. You could single-handedly build an entire block of houses for the homeless, save the whales and discover a cure for ugliness, all in one evening, and those wretched morning people will still call you lazy if you sleep until noon the following day.

It is what it is, bro. Fortunately, I’ve found that I’m not alone in my lust for late sleeping. In the coming B-Plus section of the Sunday Sun Journal, watch for interviews with fellow layabouts, along with some tips from the experts on how you can improve the quality of your sleep.

Or how you can improve the quality of MY sleep by not calling so dang early. I’m just saying.

Mark LaFlamme is a Sun Journal staff writer. You can email him at [email protected] any time of day or night, but don’t expect a reply until half-past caffeine.

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