Compared to Lee, my sleep-deprivation was minimal. To my left, he sat in his usual lecture chair (number nine), comatose. Each arm was balanced upon the licorice-thin arm rests, and the lips surrounding his slightly agape mouth twitched. Bedecked in jeans and a gray sweater, he sat. Sat and stared at the platform's crevice, the one at which the floor and wall diverged into a sharp crook of damaged baseboards.
I rigidly sat upright, my back parallel to the seat. I was clothed in an array of faded items from my junior year of high school, and my brown hair was hastily pulled into a ponytail. Just half an hour prior, I had forced my corneas to bear my contacts, albeit my eyes were already bloodshot from my obvious lack of slumber. I was still wearing my winter coat and, as I crossed my legs (left over right, of course), I absentmindedly placed my hands in my lap. I glanced at Lee, who acknowledged my awareness with a tic.
My only response was to raise an eyebrow. My lethargy prevented me from asking questions of him, which is what I usually do. Rather, I relied on my other senses--mostly sight and smell--to reach a conclusion. Firstly, I paid heed to Lee's somnolent expression, expecting drool to soon pool out of the corners of his still-open mouth. He reminded me of Sweeney Todd; specifically during the beach scene in which Mrs. Lovett sings "By the Sea."
After absorbing the sight of him, I breathed deep. Lee, having turned twenty-one just over a month ago, is now able to embrace his alcoholism legally. As he does not have class on Tuesday, he often arrives to Wednesday morning lecture hung-over and sleepy, reeking of the stuff. This time, however, I was surprised; the remnants of liquor was non-existent.
Just as I opened my mouth to ask him how his weekend was, Lee's baritone rang out.
"I didn't sleep."
I shook my head. "What? You mean, at all?"
His eyes widened even more. "No," he said, still staring forward. "I didn't sleep." His eyes twitched a few times. "But I have had a lot of coffee," he proclaimed in his mockingly froggy falsetto.
I smiled. "You need to sleep."
"No. I just need more coffee," he insisted.
I shook my head and turned my attention to the front, where our professor was currently struggling with the projection screen.
"I wonder what it is going to do today," I said to him, alluding to the fact that the screen is an extra hassle the professor argues with each lecture. Sure enough, the screen--which happens to drop in front of an additional, apparently unsatisfactory, white screen--repeatedly disregarded all technical instructions and began to move up and down on its own accord. Relenting to the drop-down screen several minutes later, our professor decided to go with the already bright, blank background provided.
I sighed indifferently, reaching into my bag for my notes.
Lee, who had been laughing hysterically at the "Screen Skirmish," abruptly stopped giggling and faked hyperventilation. "What do you think lecture is about today?" he asked.
I gave him the eyebrow.
Unblinking, Lee nodded. "I agree with you. It's definitely about robot porn."
I grinned and turned to him. "You are so much more fun when you're drunk on enervation."