Wednesday, October 01, 2008

"Sleep that knits up the ravell'd sleeve of care"

I’ve fallen asleep to the gentle sound of rain rattling down the gutter for the past two nights. Well, the first night anyway because last night I fell asleep to a bunch of people having a loud conversation in the courtyard outside my window. This hotel, while out in the country and dead as nails at night still manages to attract people who make a lot of noise. Last time around a very loud wedding kept everyone awake until 2AM. This time it was little clutch of people sitting under a pyramid in the rain, their voices bouncing off the limestone walls.

Eventually they went off to bed and the gurgling rain was reduced to a steady drip, drip, drip. The various voices of the rain can be quite pleasant, but there is something about a drip with a perfect cadence that offers a distinctly different effect. I just rolled over and made believe that the traffic noise was really the sound of the waves breaking on the rocks in Galway Bay.

Jet Lag insomnia is a bitter mistress, sometimes she lets you slide – you arrive and you instantly fall asleep for the whole night. Other times she exacts a price, you might wake up in the middle of the night but you can force yourself back into dreamland. Last night for me was a “0” in the win column, Jet Lag won when I woke up at 3:18 and tossed and turned until I was forced to take action.

Sometimes it seems like it’s just better to get up than to assume all those positions you use to try to lull yourself back to sleep. I start on my back and roll over to face the right. Then I roll over to face the left, putting my arms above my head and splaying my legs. If you gave me a baton and put a big furry hat on my head I’d look like a drum major, quick-frozen in stride and tipped over, forever locked in a high kick, leading the band down Main Street.

After an hour of this I sat up and turned on the telly for a bit. Middle of the night Irish TV out here in the Midlands is not terribly engaging, a police drama, an infomercial selling hangers with sticky shoulders, a channel dedicated to B grade movies “based on an incredible true story.” I finally gave up and went back to mimicking the drum major, and noticing that the constant drip had ended, fell asleep for one last hour. You get up, you go on and you promise yourself that next time you have the chance you’re going to go to bed at 9:30 making up for all that suffering.

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