I wake up gasping. Two in the morning.
Hadn't been sleeping well, anyway. So hard to sleep when it's a strange bed. When you're a stranger in a strange land. It was my second day in Atlanta, and the first night had been the same. The hotel room was beautiful and all that, and reminded me of the places that Corb and I used to stay in while he was in the hotel business, but even so. Nothing beats the bed (or couch) that you're used to, night in and night out.
The room felt like it had ghosts in it, for some reason. The first night, half awake, I swear at one point I felt the other side of the bed rise, as if someone had been laying there, next to me.
This evening, I had been awoken by what I could swear was a growl, underneath my bed.
I cried out. But it must have been my imagination. A growl, really?
The hotel clerk had jinxed it. As he was checking in, he looked at where I worked. A New York company. He laughed. "Isn't that funny. You work for a New York company and your room number is 911."
Which is how he jinxed me. And now I'm hearing growls under the bed. Wonderful.
But even so, I don't feel scared. I know there's nothing underneath that's going to bite me. More than anything, I just feel sick in my stomach and a little anxious. Sick in the stomach from the two Cape Codders I had earlier in the evening. Only, I hadn't called them Cape Codders, because no one would know what that meant, in the south. Vodka and cranberry. Keep it simple. The waitress had asked me if I cared what kind of vodka she put in. I told her it didn't matter.
Now it mattered. Ugh, there's nothing worse than crummy vodka in your belly. I wanted to throw it up, but I found that I couldn't. I was just hovering, on the edge of destruction. Wanting to purge but unable to at the same time. Paid my dime and only farted.
And then, as it always does when you're awake at night, all the fears and anxieties started creeping in, on little cat feet. Circling around the bed, keeping you from sleep.
Thoughts of work. The play I'll be directing. The book I'm working on. My absence from Live Journal of late. Ashes' college stuff. The realization that I might have a problem with my agent. Money, of course. Writer's block.
To try and wipe it out of my head, I reach for my Blackberry. No entirely awake, my hands stumble the keys.
I try again, still not entirely awake.
I try again.
Wrong password. All information will be deleted on your next incorrect attempt.
I start to panic more. This is bad. I type in the wrong password next time, my lifeline to the real world is vanished. How will I get my plane tickets tomorrow? How will I be able to email anyone? Not that I've been emailing much lately...only what I have to. But still...without this link...without the ability to call out...why was I getting the password wrong? What is the password again? It was a variation on a series. Did I pick the wrong letter? No, I must have picked the right one, I'm sure if it. But if I type it in incorrectly again...
Just sleep. just go to sleep. You'll remember in the morning. You're just tired and slightly drunk now. Just relax and try to see it through.
Five minutes later, I can't stand it any longer. I jump out of bed, I grab the phone. I move into the bathroom, I turn the lights on. I stare at the keys. Do I dare to punch it in? But if I'm wrong this time...
I type in what I think is the code. The blackberry opens up, miraculously.
I move back into the bed, relieved. Crisis averted. Now, at last, you can sleep.
Two hours later. I start to drift off. Finally.
Time enough for sleep on the plane.