Tuesday, 2 September 2014

"Sleep by no means comes too soon"

Apologies for not posting last week.

My complicated summer has been winding towards its end, and last week was especially bewildering. I promise to get back into the business of regular posting as soon as possible, and to start telling the full unbelievable story of what's been going on. For now it's all too befuddling to make sense of: it's taken me all week just to write this excuse for not posting.

The last post saw me back at the very beginning of the summer, on my way to India. Let's continue where I left off, at the end of one leg of the journey, in Dubai.

On the next leg I was determined to sleep. I had a seat by the window, and as soon as I got to it I took the in-flight blanket out of its plastic bag. I arranged it over myself, and over my head as well, to keep out the light. I fastened my seat belt over the blanket, so that I wouldn't be bothered if there was turbulence. That's the kind of seasoned travel professional that I am. Then I sat perfectly still.

After five minutes my feet were uncomfortable on the floor. My neck was uncomfortable propping up my head in a position that has established itself through millions of years of evolution as being suited for any purpose other than sleep. My elbows were also uncomfortable against the arm rests. But I refused to move. I concentrated on ridding myself of the conviction that it was impossible to sleep in this position.

Soon my mind wandered. Strange things floated through it. As frustrating as it was to sit there failing to sleep in the stuffy carbon-dioxide-rich air under my blanket, it did dredge up a few curious long-forgotten memories, and some interesting thoughts.

Some of them were perfect for blog posts. They were so good that I temporarily abandoned my sleeping plan. I threw off the blanket and dug out the sick bag from the pocket of the seat in front of me, and scribbled my thoughts onto it. I jotted down a series of points that would make two excellent articles on the foundations of modern science, the twisted character of hotshot scientists, and the fraught relationship between scientists and the general public. When I was finished I was so tired that my eyes ached.

I arranged myself back into my blanket cocoon. I once again determined not to move until I had fallen asleep.

A moment later the plane landed: I had been asleep for three hours.

While I stood at baggage claim, I looked at my list of ideas. They were all gibberish.

That was two months ago. Since then my standards have shifted. Now that sick-bag of scribbles is all I've got. I'll type them up now, and post them when I get a chance.

[Six days later...]

I wrote that six days ago. I think it's safest to say that posting might be sporadic for a while. I'll try to post as regularly as possible on Mondays, but I can't be sure what oddities will spring from my manic, panicked and randomized state of mind at unexpected moments. If you want to keep track of this silliness, I suggest using one of those social media widgets, like twitter, or google's "follow" button. And if you don't, I completely understand -- but I will hold it against you anyway.

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