I bought a plane ticket to Sioux Falls a few days ago. I’ll need to be at the airport at 5am for the five hour flight.
I can’t sleep on planes. I’ve tried every combination of questionable beverage and medication options to help me, but nothing has done more than made me drowsy, angry, and blurred. I’m not afraid of flying. There’s no reason for the insomnia. The last time I flew, I had slept 3 hours the previous two nights due to a play I was in. I drank two glasses of wine and a little Baileys. I took two melatonin. I stayed awake for the full seven hours of the flight.
However, I can and have fallen asleep in various other places of interest:
- In my car when I worked a triple-back at Magic Kingdom during the Christmas holidays. I had less than four hours between shifts. I slept with my Fantasyland coat wrapped against the window like a pillow, my fingers curled up in my lanyard. The sound of fireworks woke me up as light scattered across the sky.
- A haunted house. I was dressed as a fortune teller and had been scaring the shit out of elementary school kids whose older siblings I knew (“I sense that last week, you were successful in an athletic venture… I see… a soccer ball….”). It was a fun deal. Anyway, I took a break after about four hours of fortune-telling and sat up behind a cardboard box in the accompanying haunted house in the break room of the school. Somehow, I fell asleep. Later, the Mummy woke me up with a solicitous poke of his foot: “Aw, shit, I thought you were a prop!”
- On top of a club speaker at a dance club. It was one of those massive speakers, and I had to crawl up on the stage and then pull myself on top, where I promptly passed out. My friend Kari woke me up a little while later: “Are you all right?” At the time I was deeply confused as to why I wouldn’t be all right; doesn’t everyone fall asleep on a pulsating, deafening, blaring speaker at 1:00am once in a while? I did get up later and dance to Goldfrapp, however. “Strict Machine” is worth achieving consciousness.
- In a lake. At a party at the campground, I waded into the lake at one point and decided to sit down in the shallow end. Thankfully there was never any danger of drowning, but Death by Snapping Turtle was an option, I guess.
- In a tent. Which isn’t that exciting, at least in comparison to some other stories, until I add that I’d unwittingly set my tent on top of a fire ant nest. I woke up with approximately a billion ants swarming on top of me.
- In class (who hasn’t?), on a sailboat I was supposed to be sailing (…whoops), at work (no one caught me!), in a treehouse (I still want one), while riding a horse (we were waiting on another party to catch up), and while I was playing the piano (I fell asleep mid-sonata. To my credit, the cold medication had just kicked in).
But I haven’t, and probably will never, be able to sleep in an airplane.