This morning I woke to the sound of distant thunder. I was startled and couldn’t tell where I was. I was so disoriented that I couldn’t even figure out who I was. This was due in fact to two aggravating factors. First, it was the first time that I had really slept since Saturday evening (and this was Wednesday morning). I left from DC on Sunday night and arrived in Madrid on Monday morning, getting my sleepy ass to work. Needless to say, I was suffering from jet lag and wasn’t able to sleep more than two hours until last night (Tuesday) when I finally got a full night’s rest. It was wonderful. At least until I was confronted by a sound that I hadn’t heard in a long time.
Actually, it is not uncommon when you are traveling a lot or move to a new house to wake up and wonder just where in the world you are. This happens to me quite often, and I had just recently slept in different beds in Delaware, Maryland, New York, Maryland again, and finally Madrid. My first year in Spain I would open my eyes in the morning and literally get up off the wrong side of the bed, thinking that I was either in my parent’s house in Maryland or my old apartment in DC. Half asleep I once even opened the closet door and was about to urinate when I realized that I wasn’t in my old apartment where the bathroom door was on the left.
And so it wasn’t so strange when I woke up this morning that it took me some time to recalibrate my inner GPS system while I was readjusting my biological clock. Nevertheless, it was the distant thunder that furthered my confusion.
This distant thunder was my alarm clock. I hadn’t heard an alarm clock for at least two weeks, and the time seemed like an eternity. So much so that when it sounded, I doubted almost everything about my surroundings. At one moment, I though I was nine years old in New Jersey at 6:00am being awakened to the sound of my grandmother making fresh orange juice, and it felt nice. But the thunder persisted and didn’t feel good. Then, I was sure I was in high school and had get up for those dreaded early morning soccer pre-season tryouts. And all of these memories were so distant and felt so unrelated to my world that I wondered who I was.
Then I saw a flashing red light, my faithful blackberry, telling me that I had emails to check and reminding me that I was someone who had to go to work. The good thing, though, was that I had finally slept and been 9 and 16 years old all over again (albeit for a few split seconds).