Horizontal woes

  If you see someone chilling horizontal (alive), don’t be rude and stare. | Drawing by: Kevin Niederman

If you see someone chilling horizontal (alive), don’t be rude and stare. | Drawing by: Kevin Niederman

Column like I see 'em

I enjoy being horizontal. I practically prefer it.

After any amount of time spent walking or standing or the whathaveyou of the vertical world, I enjoy laying down; not to sleep or rest, but just to be sideways.

But there’s a stigma against lying down, and it tends to get in the way of my favorite passtime.

I’ve been lying on the floor on and off my whole life, but it wasn’t until I made it to college that it seemed to be such an issue. People stare and make comments amongst themselves. Some check to see if I’m injured or dying.

Someone even called the police on me once because they thought I was dead.

He could have at least poked my supposedly dead body with a stick or something to make sure before going straight to the police. Do you know how awkward it is to have to fake-listen through a lecture on how to not look dead when you’re just lying in a corner watching Brisco County Jr. waiting for an English class to start?

Very. It’s very awkward; you don’t need to try it for yourself, just take my word for it.

But as I continue to lie down, often singing or in strange and uncomfortable poses to prove to others I still live, people continue to be baffled, for whatever reason. They even take pictures. Like, a lot of pictures. It seems like every time I stretch out, a couple hours later I see myself on Instagram or Snapchat, #collegelife or #finalsamirite.

No, you’re not rite. #yourerong.

The prone life is great. It helps align your back. It relieves stress off joints. It’s comfortable and perspective changing. Lying down in public helps you absorb the present, and puts you in an almost hypnotic, meditative state. It’s nice, and you should try it.

But you probably won’t.

Why? Maybe you think it’s embarrassing, though I can’t fathom how. You’re not naked, you’re just sideways.

Maybe you think it’s unprofessional.

That’s more accurate I would say, but professionalism hasn’t stopped you from deciding to wear those sweatpants with a plaid shirt and Uggs to class.

You wore that outfit because, hey, it’s seven in the morning, and you’re tired and just want to be comfortable. You’re not even close to being professional though. You dress like a wealthy homeless person.

The point is, yeah, don’t lay down at your wedding or during a murder trial. But don’t judge a tired college student for taking to the floor to have a little alone time away from all the stresses of class and work.

And don’t assume he’s dead just because he hasn’t moved in twenty minutes. Episodes of Bob’s Burgers take twenty five minutes.

Oh, did a fly just land on his open, unblinking eye?

He’s dead. Call the police.


Kevin Niederman is a junior studying nursing.