Chapter 13 - "sleeping without a fan"

After the Arby’s debacle, we drove a thousand feet down the road to Day’s Inn. As we drew nigh to the contemporary bed and breakfast, I started forgetting the woes of the last couple hours and found myself giddy about the prospect of sleep. It was a newer facility, nothing fancy, but it did have complimentary oranges at the front desk and that’s pretty palatial if you ask me.

We drug our luggage into the lobby and made some small talk with the woman behind the counter. She told us a wee bit about her story and we returned the favor. She was pleasantly humored by our exploits the last couple days and gave us a little money off the going rate as a gesture of compassion. We climbed the stairs to the second floor and barged into our humble abode. It had the smell of a hotel room that was supposed to be smoke-free, but there was this faint aroma that some people along the way had been secretly “smokin’ in the boy’s room” if ya know what I mean. For all practical purposes, it was a castle compared to the extended cab of a Ford truck.

I wasted no time in stripping down and jumping into the shower. It felt so refreshing just to stand under the cleansing flow of heated water. I could have stayed there all day, but my penchant for sleep beckoned me toward my awaiting queen-size bed. I dried off, shaved, slicked my hair straight back like Pat Riley, put on a fresh pair of skivvies, brushed my bucks, popped a zit or two that had surfaced over the course of the trip, and made a running dive into the sack. I piled the pillows behind my head to watch the news with Doug before retiring. The weather looked decent for the upcoming days, though a little chilly. No big deal. I was ready to brave the West, come hell or high water.

We shut the lights off and it hit me in a hurry that my struggles weren’t over quite yet. You see, I’m used to sleeping with a fan. Not just a little fan, but a big box fan. Not just a big box fan on low, but a big box fan on high. I’ve actually been growing immune to the sound of a box fan on high and have been toying around with the idea of purchasing a barn fan at an agricultural auction. So the idea of sleeping without a fan is akin to being persecuted in the final days of the Tribulation. I can’t think of any greater torture in the end times than to be stripped of my fan during the night. I would rather be disemboweled with a spoon. Made to listen to a Tina Turner record. Forced to eat my own runny excrement. But not sleep without a fan, anything but that!

I laid there stone-still in the darkness hoping that I was so tired that I would be the first to fall asleep. Do you ever get that feeling? “Please God, please make me fall asleep first or this could be the longest night of my life!” The more you think like that, the harder it is to relax because your brain is listening for heaving breathing from you roommate. I was squeezing my eyes shut trying with everything that was in me to fall asleep…but it’s called falling asleep for a reason. I was trying to climb asleep. And the harder I tried the further I was from actually drifting off.

It didn’t take but about 3 minutes for my friend to start breathing heavy through his nose. I thought to myself, “Self, if he is a snorer, so help me. I will slit my throat with my comb.” I buried my head under a couple pillows and laid my right arm over the top of them to squeeze them tightly to my ear. It didn’t matter. The more I tried to drown out the sound, the louder his breathing got. I then started bargaining with God, “God, if you will prevent this obnoxious breathing from turning into a full blown snore, I will become a missionary in Baghdad. Anything Lord, just please hold this panting at its current sound decibel.” I think I heard God giggle off in the corner. About a minute later, Doug was snoring with such an assortment of grunts and snorts that I felt like I was at the county fair in the swine expo pavilion. It was out of control. I was so tired. So very, very tired. But there wasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell that I was sleeping under these noise-polluted conditions. Not only was I not sleeping with the white noise of a box fan, I was locked in a hotel room with a Rhinoceros in rut. I could tell he was sleeping like a killer over there, and I had more than enough time in my midnight melancholy to think of a hundred ways to roll him over without him waking up. I even thought of a couple ways of killing him so that not even C.S.I. would be able to trace it back to me.

Needless to say, it was the longest night of my life. I think I may have fallen asleep somewhere between 4 and 6, but I’m not completely sure. At best it was a half-sleep where you are quasi-aware of where you are and who you’re with the whole time your body is hibernating.

The thing that made it worse yet was that Doug wanted to get up early, before the sunrise, so that we could see the sun catch the mountain range with a blanket of colors only to be seen at the ungodly hour of 6am. I wanted to get up for that, too. But I really wanted to sleep even more at that point. I was bordering on a sleep deprivation psychosis, the kind that makes you hallucinate with your eyes open. When the alarm went off, I wanted to chuck it across the room in a fit of rage. But when I saw my buddy Doug skipping around the room like a frolicking fawn in a field, I didn’t want to rain on his “well-rested” parade. I swallowed my anger, bit my tongue, and hit the shower again. I needed that shower to do something miraculous inside of me. Like Naman dipping himself in that dirty river seven times, I needed this shower to cleanse the leprosy of my lethargy and inject pep into my step for the day’s activities.

For about 20 minutes, it did just that. 20 minutes.


bob said…
That's the funniest thing I've heard in a long time.......I think you should buy a jet engine from an F-18 and stash it under your bed for those times when white noise just doesn't do the job. Luv ya man.
jadeinmywindow said…
I use a baby sound machine... it's small, portable, has volume control, and there are many options for which white noise you'd like to listen to that night. I like rain. If you like waves crashing, test it first and see if there are seagulls squaking at all- many of the wave noises have that- it doesn't create the white noise effect that way. Stop at bed bath and beyond or jc penney or any store like that- they run about $20.
Teresa said…
I know exactly what you mean Jason, and I thought I was the only one who NEEDS to sleep with a fan on. Sadly, I used to have 3 regualr sized fans in my room but I've lowered it to 2 now. Ha. I think I need noise to be able to get to sleep - hearing any noise outside of my bedroom bothers me, so I need to fans for that as well. It sounds kind of goofy.
Thanks for sharing Jason.

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