King’s Orders: 72° F. Period.


I glance at clock. It’s 1:12 am. I see that Zeke is sprawled out and nestled next to his Mom. Room is airless, sweltering – – think rain forest. I turn over, fluff my pillow, kick the comforter off my legs to let some air in, and lie there. Too early to get up.

I read somewhere that if you stay motionless for 15-20 minutes, your body will enter sleep paralysis. Your body will believe you are asleep but your brain is still functioning. I’m staring at the clock. And lay motionless. One minute. Two minutes. I’m glaring at the digital clock. What’s wrong with me? 15 minutes, huh? No chance. This chassis is built for motion.

I notice the cable box flashing. Researchers say that to get a good night’s sleep, you need to increase darkness, which means turn off all lights to avoid suppressing melatonin, whatever that is. So, I take inventory.

  • Digital LED clock: large fire engine red lettering.
  • Cable box and its Greeks: LED light in a soft blue hue.
  • Television: red dot power-off button.
  • Apple Wireless Router: Pea-sized, lime green, LED power-on button.
  • Laptop: LED soft yellow charging button. (FEED ME. FEED ME.)
  • Blackberry: Laying face down. I can see the notification light blinking Red. (READ ME! READ ME!). No. No. Don’t pick it up.

The only thing not emitting light is the stack of unread books on the night stand. And this too gives me anxiety.

I hear footsteps in the attic. And then a laugh. Followed by undecipherable words. I lie and I listen. A predator waiting to pounce.

It’s now 1:23 am.

It’s still uncomfortably warm.

More words, laughing, and a low hum from the television in the attic.


Zeke pops up his head and watches me march down the hall in my white Jockey t-shirt and underwear. Yep, The King of the Jungle.

I check the thermostat. 78° F. No wonder I’m roasting.

I amble up the stairs. Like the fog rolling in from the bay in San Francisco, the cold air from the attic blankets me. I shiver.

HEY!” No response. He has his headset on and is playing X-Box remotely with a friend. I walk over, and yank the head set off his head.

“Hey! I’m playing!”
“Do you have ANY idea what time it is?”
“Put some pants on Dad.”
“Didn’t we have this discussion 2 weeks ago?”
“What discussion?”
“WHAT DISCUSSION? The discussion where I said you were going to pay next month’s electricity bill if I found you messing with the thermostat. It’s freezing up here.”
“I didn’t touch the thermostat.”
“You didn’t touch it? Come on.”
“I told you to put some pants on.”
“Forget my bloody pants.”

I walk over and check the thermostat. 68° F. The A/C must be working overtime in the attic to cool, leaving nothing in the tank for our bedroom.

“You didn’t touch the thermostat? Eric, don’t bullsh*t me. I’m tired. And I have to work tomorrow.”
“Really Dad. I don’t remember touching it.”
“You don’t REMEMBER?”
“Eric, I’m setting this on 72° F. If I find this has moved one degree in any direction, you and your X-Box will be out in the backyard.”
“OK, Dad.”
“Eric, don’t test me. I mean it. And turn the bloody volume down.”

I walk down the stairs, down the hall and into the bedroom. There I find Zeke sleeping on my side of the bed on top of my pillows. He looks up at me and growls.

Defeated, the King grabs his laptop and pillow and heads for the couch.

Image Credit:


  1. Memo to self….send the King my recipe for refreshing homemade ice cream…. 😉


  2. Why does this sound so familiar? (Including the dog part by the way…)


  3. OMG, that was so crazy funny! Lol!!! The part about all the lights is hysterical. What have we done to ourselves??? I have a hard time sleeping too. The minute my head hits the pillow, it seems that everything in the universe begins to conspire against me, preventing me from sleeping, mostly work anxiety. Thanks for making me laugh, even though I know it wasn’t very funny for you. 🙂


  4. Sounds like things are the same there as they are here.


  5. Oh Ye Somewhat Benevolent Sleep Deprived Ruler – I think Lori’s recommendation for homemade ice cream is in order. Tis true that a sense of humor flies out the window whilst battling fatigue and heat – though your kingdom will be miss thy young prince when he has departed once more to further his education. One note to your Lordship – one’s credibility is arguably less questioned whilst clothed.


  6. Oh Gosh – you would die in our house. Low 77 high 80 in the summer. Low 65 high 68 in the winter, Get a fan.


  7. Oh the joy of having to be the king!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: