At around 12.30am I very sensibly came home and went to bed. At 12.45am I got up, and wrote down 23 of the zillion Things I Have To Do that started bounding around like youthful rabbits in my head as soon as I switched off the light. 23 may seem like a random number. It is not. It is simply the number I got to on my list before I freaked out altogether and went to get some Comfort Cheese from the fridge.
Returned, gloomy and cheeseless, to the living room, with a most uncomforting nectarine and a pint of water, having spotted my I-refuse-to-live-my-life-as-a-hippopotamus memo on the fridge door.
23 things to do, and then what course of action does our heroine take? Why, she spends 2 hours reading through the archives of the latest hilarious blogger she has stumbled across. And so here I am – tired, hungry, stressed, and suffering from that weird sense of not being terribly sure whether my world is real, or if I actually personally know all the characters in afore-mentioned blog.
It is ridiculous to be getting stressed out over the horrific number of (23) Things To Do when I’m currently only halfway through a fortnight-long holiday and therefore have simply masses and oodles and shedloads of free time. Unfortunately, my newly acquired geek status and the accompanying necessity of staying up all night reading the life stories of people I have never met has thrown my body clock not just off balance, but completely out the window and under the wheels of a passing PSNI armoured jeep. Thus/therefore/hence (or some other nice, stuffy literary word that might reasonably go at the start of this sentence), ‘oversleeping’ now no longer means ‘waking up at 8.45 and being 10 minutes late for work’, but is instead becoming closer and closer to ‘forgetting to actually get up at all during the daytime’. Leaving not much time at all to do the 23 things I absolutely must do. I’ve actually got that feeling of mild, rising panic that is beginning to border on nausea.
So here’s what I’m going to do. I am going to force myself out of bed at, say, 10.30am. I am going to drink a lot of coffee. I am going to prioritise and edit my List Of Horror. I am going to actually do some of the things on it. And then I am going to have an early night, so that on Sunday I can get up at 8am and set a pattern for the rest of the week, giving me back my masses and oodles and shedloads of time to accomplish everything else on said
List Of Horror Perfectly Do-able List. Sometimes it just helps to organise my thoughts like this. I feel much more positive about the whole thing now. I even feel up to sharing an anecdote with you before I go to bed for not nearly enough sleep.
So Kate and He Who Brings The Coffee have gone to Tenerife for a week. They left at 5 o’clock this morning. I was a little surprised, then, to receive a text at 2pm from Kate:
Am in Portugal.
I considered this for a long moment, trying to analyse it for hidden meaning, but in the end could only conclude that she was in Portugal. I texted my reply.
I set the phone down on the table and went to put on a load of washing. I forgot about the phone for a while as I became engaged with a small but nonetheless real dilemma involving a whites wash, a red sock, and an already half-water-filled machine. When I returned, understandably harassed, I saw that I had a text message.
Woman may have died on plane. Diverted. Waiting for new plane from Heathrow.
Instantly visualised crime scenes, police tape, body bags, hostages, guns, sirens, blood and similar distressing things. The message was so incomplete, so vague, so very frustrating. For instance, “may have died”. MAY HAVE. Granted, I’m no expert in crime scene investigation and/or modern medicine, but I’d always thought Life and Death to be pretty easily distinguished from one another. I was also greatly intrigued by the idea of a “new plane” being sent. Why? Was the Possibly Dead Woman the pilot? Or had some kind of ‘old plane’ technological flaw contributed to the Unconfirmed Death, ruling out all future travel in that particular aircraft? Perhaps the Possibly Dead Woman had fallen victim to some kind of flesh-eating virus, X Files style, and the plane was in quarantine with a big tent thing around it (not unlike the one in E.T. with all the guys in spacesuits running around scaring the living daylights out of any small children who happened to be watching the film – not that I was ever psychologically damaged as a consequence of watching E.T., you understand). The possiblities flashed in my mind’s eye with increasing unlikeliness.
I may have sent back a dry, unimpressed message, implying that I was almost bored by the normality of their situation.
Don’t be flippant, came the reply, We are prisoners at Faro airport.
Made an obvious but undeniably hilarious “Faro, Faro, let my people go” joke. Was subsequently ignored for a few hours. Then:
You know, they have made blockbusters out of experiences like this.
Another few hours of unanswered questions and mounting curiosity. I will admit that the thought “Kate is lying on a sun lounger by the hotel pool in Tenerife, sipping an iced drink, reading a Danielle Steele book, soaking up the rays and laughing at me” did cross my mind, but I dismissed it almost instantly. Kate would never read Danielle Steele.
A text! Almost dropped the phone in my sheer desperation to find meaning and answers. Unfortunately neither one of these needs was met in a text message that read:
Contemplating locking self in toilets for peace. People losing plot. 2 meal vouchers each. No pilot for new plane. Woman dead.
And so I have been left with many, many unanswered questions. Granted, the Possibly Dead Woman’s condition has been clarified, having changed from ‘Possibly Dead’ to ‘Dead’. But so many things remain unknown. Like, how did the ‘new plane’ get to Faro from Heathrow without a pilot? What happened to the original pilot from the ‘old plane’? Are my previous quarantine/E.T. theories correct? Has Kate been detained as a suspect? Where is He Who Brings The Coffee? What is the significance of the 2 meal vouchers?
Is it any wonder I can’t sleep at night?
You know what… I think the sun is actually starting to rise. This is beyond ridiculous. I must now go to bed. Good morning to you all.
Filed under: death, friends, hippopotamus, humour, insomnia, Mishaps, tiredness, travel | 2 Comments »