In Honor of Lassitude

Written Sept. 1, 2013

Back in 2008 the BBC broadcast a story about a Bogota Museum honoring laziness with a week-long exhibition dedicated to a deeper understanding of lethargy.

At last lassitude has achieved respect by intellectuals who too often have downplayed its importance to human existence.

Throughout the 80s and 90s my Sundays were devoted to ruminating before the TV, taking long baths, avoiding conversations, and finally watching Star Trek, while having a plate of General Tsao’s Chicken from the local Chinese take-out.

My girlfriend, Ms. Carolina, called this day ‘the incommunicado Shabbath’.

In fact the only person to whom I spoke was the six-fingered Chinese deliveryman.


“Keep a dollar tip.”

The door shut and I resumed doing nothing, while the rest of New York returned home tuckered out from a day at the museums, movies, or brunches.

As a child my father couldn’t stand idle hands and scheduled a slurry of chores for the Lord’s Day; mowing the lawn, sweeping out the garage, weeding the flower beds.

There was no TV, until you were finished, but he also said, “If you aren’t going to do a job right, then there’s no reason to do it.”

I must have been 10 when I tested his saying.

One Sunday he entered the TV den to find me watching the movie SINBAD.

“Are your chores done?”

“I didn’t think I could do a good job, so I stopped.”

What could I have been thinking?

My argument for laziness earned a month of no TV.

I didn’t get a mention at the Bogata museum and neither did the Thais, who are perennial Olympic contenders for the gold medal in lassitude in the eyes of farangs, who don’t lift a finger in hard labor. Thai workers labor 6 days a week for less than $10 a day.

I work at a metal shop.

Every week I carry tons of brass and steel.

I know tired same as the Thai workers.

All you want to do after a long day is drink a beer and lay down for the count.

Today I am at rest.

It’s a natural state in the universe and farangs can go fuck themselves on our off days.

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