I have begun to realize that life is just a series of waiting rooms. You wait all week for the weekend to start. You wait on your doorstep for the taxi to arrive, then you wait in the cab making patient small talk with the driver. You stand and wait with your luggage through winding lines, then wait your turn to walk through the metal detector. You sit at the gate waiting for your plane to board, you count down the minutes to the ceremony, and you wait your turn for your own wedding.
When a new baby is born into the world, we might as well just welcome them out of the womb with old magazines, a TV on mute, and a water cooler with paper cups. Because the waiting game is a big part of life, little one. And the sooner you get used to it, the better.
I got exactly two hours of sleep last night (this morning?), and it’s likely I won’t see a bed for another 20 hours or so. This is a fact so astonishing that it has its own gravitational pull – I very literally felt by body slump with this realization. I fear this load might be too much to bear; I might topple over any minute.
I am sitting next to an airport Starbucks, and have spent the last eight minutes weighing the pros and cons of getting coffee.
CON: But then I won’t sleep on the plane
PRO: But I wouldn’t have done that anyway
CON: But then I’ll crash right about when it’s time to see everybody
PRO: But it’s coffee
CON: Good point.
PRO: But I’m too tired to get up.
CON: Better point.
CONCLUDING CONUNDRUM: Sleep depravation causes lack of energy, lack of energy inhibits motivation to go get coffee. Coffee would alleviate sleep depravation.
Spent five minutes thinking this through. Still haven’t gotten coffee.
UPDATE: Creepy bearded guy behind me is reading over my shoulder. Read through all pros and cons of coffee. Also presumably reading as I type this.
Subject has made no audible reaction to watching me write about him.
Subject probably thinks I am crazy. Anyone reading this over my shoulder would think I was crazy. I think I am crazy.
Maybe coffee would help.
Putting Captain’s Log away; pulling out a book instead.
UPDATE: Sleep depravation apparent, cognitive capacity dwindling. Reading book deemed mentally impossible. Continuing Captain’s Log, insanity be damned.
Creepy bearded guy still casually reading over my shoulder. Looks away every time I catch him. No direct eye contact yet.
UPDATE: Eye contact has been made. Sheepish smile. CBG has now pulled a book out of his backpack.
Considering changing seats to read over his shoulder.
CBG bores me. Thought about getting coffee, instead settled on searching the gate for other people-watching entertainment.
Lack of sleep seems to have had a delusional authoritative effect on me: I have begun to establish rules that I expect those around me to follow.
1. I dislike that I am tired and others do not seem to be. I have spent 21 of the last 24 hours awake, and it seems only reasonable for the people around me to outwardly match my internal level of exhaustion. They do not.
2. Two sorority girls are laughing loudly nearby. Unacceptable. Nothing is allowed to be funny in an airport at 5:21am. They must stop immediately, I demand it.
3. It seems a absurd that if I want coffee I have to stand up and go get it. I paid hundreds of dollars on this plane ticket. I should be brought coffee while I wait.
Now intentionally not getting coffee on principle. Protesting airport coffee.
There is an important businessman to my left who would like everyone to hear his important business phone call. It’s very very important that we all hear this so that all people in a 20-foot radius know how very important of a businessman he is. The importance of this cannot be overstated.
It seems inevitable that there is some derivative of this character in every airport, on every flight, without fail – which seems suspiciously coincidental. I am starting to wonder if it’s all staged. Maybe he’s a paid actor, and they fill the role on every flight to annoy everyone enough to distract them from something else.
UPDATE: Took 10-minute break from Captain’s Log to reflect on conspiracy theory. Could not come up with plausible enough reason for airlines to hire paid actor to annoy me. Concluded that outlandish thoughts are probably a result of sleep depravation. Probably should get coffee after all.
Flight boards in 10 minutes. Still debating Starbucks but time is running out.
Ironically, with every passing minute I seem to become more and more resolute in my desire for coffee, and yet I still haven’t gotten up yet.
Approaching boarding time is now becoming a stressor. Eyes are darting back and forth between the gate and Starbucks sign. Brain actively telling body to get up. No word from body.
Flight boards in five minutes and others have lined up for coffee. Line is now longer than it was a few minutes ago – increasing number of variables is making decision-making harder. Brain ill-equipped to function under pressure.
Another line / another waiting room.
Make sure your seat backs and tray tables are in a full upright and locked position.
Physical ability to nap diminished.
In case of an emergency, Oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling. Secure your own mask before assisting others. Even though Oxygen will be flowing, the bag might not inflate.
I have been awake for days now. Years. If I don’t get some caffeine soon I will collapse in the middle of the vows.
In the event of a water landing, your seat cushion can also be used as a flotation device.
Maybe I’ll just order one from the flight attendant. That’ll be my last opportunity.
Please note that we will not be providing beverage service on this flight. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Captain’s Log, Stardate April 26th, PDX Int’l Airport. 6:25am
Definitely should have gotten coffee.