H. Tavel

Hey look coming down the street. It's Sleepyhead!
Hey look, it's Sleepyhead.
Look at him coming down the street with a long leg back and a long leg slowly sweeping back and a long leg forward and back and his clothes hanging round him like clouds and on backwards and hanging off him like wet, like the ocean.

Hey Sleepyhead!

Look at him coming down the street with his laces unraveling behind him long sleepy threads unraveling behind him like spools. Look at him with his spools and his long low slow plaid walking with arms slowly swinging and a potato.

Should we wake him?
What do you think?
Should we?
Wake him, that is?
Where's a gun?

Should we really wake him? Should we? Do you think?

Look at him coming down the street with an eye patch and a limp and the birds unraveling and his laces fluttering all slow and heavy like sweaterwet. And instead of an eye what I hear where his eye used to be there's nothing but a marble, a big chocolate swirl shooter marble from Mexico shoved in that sleepy old hole, that big sad gaping hole where his eye used to be and that marble rolling around in there and well you know the eye patch keeps it from falling out clattering out and rolling off the edge of the big flat earth.
Or so I hear.

Should we wake him? What do you think? Should we? Wake him, that is?

Should we run up and wave our arms in front of his face and yell sleepyhead sleepyhead sleepyhead? Should we hide in that bush over there or hide over there in that alley and throw things at him? Should we hit him with things? What should we throw? Should we throw shoes? Should we throw mice? Meat? Pies? Should we run up and smack him with a pie? What if we hide over there in that alley or in that bush until just the right moment, till the perfect moment when he slow plaids right by here and then leap out at the last possible second and smack him in the face with a pie? What kind of pie should we throw? Should we throw mince pie? meat pie? mouse pie? Should we throw choco-sarsparilla, sarsparilla-choco, moose mousse, moose-mouse mousse, brick lemon, sparklepuff, caraway-sassafrass, sarsparilla-sassafrass, lobster wedge, lobster-moose mousse, caraway-caraloo wedge, triple-layer diamond-dust caraloo? Should we hurl triple-layer diamond-dust caraloo at his right ear, caraway-sarsparilla-sassafrass at his left ear, lemon-brick-lemon-lobster-wedge-sarsparilla at his hair?

I know what: you run up and grab him and hold him and I'll jump out and smack him in the head with a lemon brick.

Hey Sleepyhead!

Look at him coming down the street just dreaming with his marble-eye and a sunray and a walrus and a sack of potatoes. Hey Sleepyhead! Why don't you clean that mess up, Sleepyhead? Is that polite, is it proper, leaving a big old mess of potatoes and walruses and sunrays all over everywhere out in the broad daylight for people to slide in and trip over and ah, did you just step in one? Come here, hold still.
Give me your shoe let me have your shoe.
Hold still while I
Just wait a minute while I
Just hold on a minute while I

Okay. I know what. Let's just lay in wait yes in this alley here yes let's just lurk behind this building here yes while I think what to do.
I think we might be able to break in.
I think we might be able to get in and break in.
No, I really think we can. I think so. I do.

So here's what. You hold him while I pry the top of his head off.
Toss me that crowbar, would you?
Ready? Ready now?
That's right just hold him still while I
Just wait a minute while I
Just grab him and hold him while I

Don't let him get away! Get him!

Stand over there and wait. Just stand and wait.
Just wait.
Wait a minute wait a minute wait a minute
Just hold on a minute

Have you got him? Are you sure you've got him?
Have you got him now? Are you sure?
Okay, just hold him still while I pry the top of his head off.
Where's that crowbar?

Oh wow. Will you look at that? You go first. No, after you. I insist. Oh, don't forget your gear. I brought it with me and I hid it over there in the alley behind that walrus. No, no problem at all. No, the other one. I brought your gear and here it is all packed up nice and neat for you in a nice new knapsack. We've got your flashlight right here and another flashlight and a pup tent and a broom and batteries and juice, and more juice and a mouse pie and walkie talkies one for you one for me, and a transistor radio and a radiotelemeter and binoculars and a microscope and infrared goggles, and a grappling hook and a 1912 Steinway and Sons baby grand piano with walnut inlay and a candelabra. I'll grab your gear and you grab the piano.

What do you see? Careful! Tell me what you see. Careful! See anything? How is it in there?
Do you see anything? I'm coming in.
I'm right behind you.
Toss me that flashlight, would you?

Just put that piano down anywhere. Careful with that candelabra. Let's light a flame for old Sleepyhead. Ah, Sleepyhead, why do we always have to clean up your messes for you? Look at this mess. And lookahere lookahere what do we have here? Ah, yes, the caverns of the sun, I remember them well. And milkmaids with milk jugs who glisten in the dawnlight like golden. And robots with crystal chandeliers for heads and a meadow of deepest Luxembourg. Roll that meadow up and cram it in my knapsack would you? And a milkmaid too. Sleepyhead'll never miss just one.

Let's get cleaning broomboy. Just fold up those dewdamp meadows and fold them up and put them right in that drawer there and in this one here we'll put those unspiralling planets and we can throw those giggling mangobreasted maids right in this closet here and did you just see a biplane piloted by a mouse in goggles and a trailing llama hair scarf? Well grab him when he next goes by I think there's room in this here credenza.

What's that you've got there? What are you hiding? Let me see what's in your fist. No your other fist. No the other one.
Give me that and
Let me see that and
Open your fist and

Well, call me Kilgore and slap me with a shimmy brick. A tiny haloed god, that's what that is. Look at him radiating and shaking his tiny fist. Careful now, don't break him. I think I'll put him right here in this bell jar with a bell and a moon plum and a plucked dandelion and some sassafrass. I've never been one for gods myself, of course, but that is one of the finer specimens I've seen. Whoever would've thought old Sleepyhead with his chocolate marble eye and his slow plaid walking and his slow sweaterwet and his shoes on wrong and the laces unraveling and his walruses and birds and potatoes'd have such a tiny sweet longeyelashed god?

Hey what was that? Did you feel that? Oops you fell. Let me help you up. Did you feel that? Like a boulder perched precariously on the edge of a jutting precipice threatening at any moment to roll off and start a thundering avalanche?
Like a cascade of lemon bricks raining down on the head of an unassuming clown performing balloon tricks in the park to a crowd of bored onlookers?
Like a piano hurled from a great distance and landing soft as a feather on a chubby boy in Lederhosen hiking up an alpine mountainside?
Like a giant lumpen walrus hewing through a glaciotectonic ridge where a confluence of penguins has gathered to discuss plans for a penguin manifesto revision?

I think he must be waking up. I think he's waking up. I think so. I do.
Let's go. Let's get out of here quick before we're trapped in here forever.
Grab your gear and the piano and I'll grab the bell jar god and let's go.
Hurry now.
Watch out for that penguin. Watch out for that milkmaid. Watch out for lederhosen boy. Have you got everything? Are you sure?

Ah, he's waking up. Quick, let's put the top of his head back on before he's any the wiser. Toss me that hammer and nails would you?

Hey Sleepyhead! Hey Sleepyhead!

Have I told you about the finger rays? The special hypnotic anti-memory finger rays? Here I'll show you. Just stand back and watch now as I roll my arms out like this and stretch my fingers out like that and then I have to make a face like this or like that and look out here they come! See? Superspecial hypnotic anti-memory dreamland finger rays streaming out of my fingertips shooting out from my fingertips like golden.

So look. You hold him and I'll zap him with the finger rays.
When I count to three.