“Too Late,” By Chad Robert Parker

What would it be like to be a morning person? Does the sun shine brighter or the birds tweet sweeter? The idea of a body clock is nearly a foreign concept to me. I have probably woken up a couple times feeling “up and at ’em,” or maybe that was just indigestion.

Don’t get me wrong. Being an adult has necessitated the habit of waking up more readily. I get to work on time. But, the ill-fated truth is that some of my childhood habits inevitably creep back in. Some days I am worse than my office computer, which often takes an extra fifteen minutes to boot up.

My morning routine used to be a few slaps of the snooze button. I would milk every minute I could afford. Then I would race to the shower, throw on some clothes, and mix-up Carnation Instant Breakfast on may way out the door. Okay, not much has changed, except I guess I calculate the minutes I can spare a little bit better. Back in high school I still didn’t have it down to a Science, so-to-speak.

A kid on the bus started to feel threatened by me to the point that he began toting a knife to school. There was something not quite right about that kid. (But that’s another story: See Bus Stopper). I happened to be sick the day he was planning on knifing me. Rather than escalate the conflict I decided to get a rides to school from my mom. She had been driving the stragglers who missed the bus more and more anyway.

Then my tardy slips started piling up. Although my brothers knew the sure bet to being on time was to catch the bus it wasn’t fair to them. I was usually last to the car. I think I was a Senior. My first hour teacher would lecture me for being late, but five minutes didn’t matter to him, and I knew multiple tardy slips would not provoke detention from him. My brothers’ teachers were not so lenient, however. Sorry Scot. I should have insisted on taking his detention.

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