I had a fever a few weeks ago. Too many nights without sleep in Barcelona. Wide awake and staring at the bunk bed above me, I was sure of only one thing: The sleeping pill I took two hours ago had peaked and failed to deliver some Z’s. Then it started – the sound was coming from a bed to my my left. The source of the noise stumbled into the room five minutes ago, pushing the limits of his mattress springs by gracelessly slumping over.
60 days into my trip, I’ve stayed at my fair share of hostels. Character, location, interior, price, cleanliness – no two are the same, except for one constant: Someone is usually passed out drunk and snoring loudly.
It’s a reality of traveling that I’ve grown used to. But on this particular night – burning up and having a difficult time nodding off – I couldn’t ignore the deep reverberating escaping from his throat. A timeline of my thoughts:
3:15 – Hmm, finally feeling tired. Ah, what’s that? Snoring. OK, not gonna stop me from falling asleep. No worries.
3:17 – That’s getting pretty loud. That guy might have health problems. May need a priest to perform an exorcism.
3:25 – Grabbing the I-Pod. Gonna slip on my noise-canceling headphones. Should help. At least his bed isn’t moving back and forth to accompanying moans like in Bruges.
3:29 – Head-phones are almost full volume. Yet I can still hear him pretty clearly somehow. Kinda ruining this song. Try and tune it out. The snoring, not the music.
3:41 – If that priest does come, might need some holy water to cool me down. My temperature is definitely going up.
3:50 – Urge to kill rising.
3:55 – AHHH DOESN’T HE KNOW I’M LISTENING TO BLOOD ON THE TRACKS? THIS ALBUM IS TOO GOOD TO BE INTERRUPTED BY HIS UNEVEN BREATHING. I GIVE UP, THERE’S NO HOPE OF DROWNING HIM OUT. HOW CAN A HUMAN WITH AN OBSTRUCTED THROAT PASSAGEWAY POSSIBLY MAKE NOISES THAT LOUD?
4:11 – OK, lost my cool – it’s alright. Just sleep on the train tomorrow. Happy thoughts. Scoring waves. Bob Barker. Ninja Turtles. I got this.
4:16 – Seriously? Now the guy above me is snoring. One snore peaks while the other trails off. It’s both frustrating and kind of weirdly complimentary. It’s like hearing two guitars play off of each other. The Keith Richards and Mick Taylor of sleeping.
4:19 – Urge to kill rising… rising.
4:30 – Maybe I’ll try one of those counting games to bore myself to sleep? 100. 99. 98…
4:32 – Hmm, didn’t work. Now in German? Einhundert. Neunundneunzig. Achtundneunzig…
4:34 – The sound stopped, from both directions! Victory! Unroll the streamers. Time to ride a fluffy cloud to dreamland. Finally I can get to sle…
4:34 – Uggh. Premature mission accomplished. There goes the first guy again… and now the second.Wonderful.
4:40 – Need some other way to distract my brain. I’ll try and think about all the things I have to do when I get back from my whirlwind tour around Europe. Shuffling resumes, straightening ties, interviews, shaking hands, the infinite number of paths I could take and places I could end up in the next six months. *brain explodes and mind goes blank from overabundance of thoughts*
4: 43 .