28 August 2012

Phantom Limbs

Jetlag sort of creates a temporal phantom limb. After two days of complete sleep-deprivation, (we decided that not going to bed before our 6a.m. flight would increase the chance of actually managing to sleep on the plane rides – it wasn't the smartest thing we've ever come up with, to put it mildly) I fell into bed, eyes burning, brain laying hallucinations with the speed of a doped-up chicken with the mission of repopulating its entire species by itself, at 19h and slept like a very flat, wheezing rock. My nose was blocked due to the various assaults the plane rides and lack of sleep performed on my sinuses, and so, when I woke up at 4a.m., my mouth tasted like wet dog. I tossed and turned for an hour and sniffled my way into a superficial drowse, brought about more by the stubborn desire to sleep rather than actual tiredness; when I couldn't manage to pierce the membrane of wake, I finally jerked some activity back into my heavy limbs and got up. First order of business: find some acrylic paint to make one of the small cardboard boxes I have lying around look pretty. Yes, I have my priorities. When the paint was nowhere to be found, I gave up and brushed my teeth instead, which seemed to satisfy my desire to rub a tacky substance onto something with a brush.... – Well, I digress from the original point of this post: jetlag and phantom limbs. It is quite simply explained: when I woke up at 4a.m., the feeling sitting on my chest, keeping me from falling back asleep, was exactly that of waking up around 8 or 9p.m. after a late afternoon nap one knows one shouldn't have had but couldn't help but indulge in. It's not a feeling I usually get when I wake up in the middle of the night; sure, periods of insomnia abound in the realm of my sleep schedule, but the feeling I had very much relied on the notion that the sleep I'd just achieved was not real sleep, that it was a nap to practice for the actual sleep I was to have right now, but that I'd spoiled like one spoils one's appetite by eating candy before a meal (I do it anyway). Bored with my waking state and with a wiggly mind making up for the lethargy within my body, I decided to rein in my thoughts and focus on something easily controllable: numbers. So I counted back the hours and found that it was indeed 20:30 back in Washington, and that I had indeed just slept through the more sinful of nap times (rather than the more socially acceptable time bracket of 2-4p.m.).
Now, all there is to do is to wait for the phantom limb, that still imposes upon me the illusion I am sauntering about in the Pacific Northwest, to slowly fade away and reattach my mind to both the time zone and the climactic misfortune that is Great Britain.

Meanwhile, I will look forward to the discomfort I will feel at around noon, when my mind will be convinced it is 4a.m, Washington time, and scold me for not being in bed at that hour. 

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