It had to happen–I was far too satisfied about heading west instead of toward Hurricane Arthur to get home. But it turns out there was a big storm in the Southwest, too.
Given a choice between hanging out at the Phoenix airport for 7 to 10 hours on the possibility of a standby seat at virtually impossible odds or a discount hotel voucher/morning flight combo, I went for the option with the comfy horizontal surface and fluffy pillows.
In short order, I and my little bag of complimentary toiletries were ensconced in a comfortable room in a hotel near PDX, and I was faced with something I had not dealt with for more than two weeks.
It was quiet.
No airport noise, no scoring machines, no clack and clatter of fencing weapons, no coaches yelling, no referees’ calls, few people at all.
My most serious problem today, aside from the cancelled flight, has been a bombardment of hypnic jerks. Though it sounds like these might be a specific category of annoying people at fencing tournaments, they are actually what happens instead of hitting the ground when you dream of falling. On the plane from Columbus, it was sometimes an arm or lower leg or my head that jerked me awake, but I also had one full-body twitch that nearly made the poor guy in the middle seat jump out of his skin.
Unsurprisingly, the Wikipedia article on hypnic jerks says that “A higher occurrence is reported in people with irregular sleep schedules.” Imagine that.
Once I had lunch, I pulled the blackout curtains closed and put myself to bed. Then–just as I was about to nod off–I set my alarm for morning, just to be completely safe. One appropriately timed jerk woke me just as the Giants game started, so I turned on the SF radio feed on my MLB At Bat app and let the voices of Dave Fleming and Johnny Miller put me back under. (Which was fine–the Giants lost again, as I discovered when a jerk woke me during the post game show.)
A couple of hours (and a few jerks) later, I got up and got some dinner. After I finish this post, it’ll be bedtime again. I’m hoping the hypnic jerks will subside soon, though after so many days of forcing myself to resist the urge to nap, I can see it might take a few days for my sleep center to readjust to normal life.
In the meantime, I can wallow and revel in the quiet.