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Other Writings2018-07-16T23:53:02+00:00

“This morning with first light bathing Room 119, evil spirits descended on my world. For half an hour, the alarm on the machine that regulates my feeding tube has been beeping out into the world.” Based loosely on the chapter, “My Lucky Day” from John-Dominique Bauby’s “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” my memoir…

My Lucky Day

This morning (or is it night?), a faint (but distinct) beep, beep, beepstartles me from my dream (wait, is this part of the dream or…?)…beep, beep, beep Like Edgar Allen Poe’s “Tell-Tale Heart,” the steady, repetitive beeping is rapidly driving me toward madness. I open only one eye so I can get back to sleep once I figure out what is going on. I collect my thoughts and feel around the bed for a cat or a dog or my wife, but I have a strange feeling that…beep, beep, beep  (Where am I? This is NOT my bedroom! WHAT THE F…oh, I remember, I am at The Hyatt Regency Dallas)…beep, beep, beep I raise my head and shoulders from the pillow and rest the weight on my left elbow…(it must be the alarm clock…whomever stayed here before me must have set it to get up early and then no one turned it off or…)…beep, beep, beep (OKAY! WHERE IS IT!?!) I adjust my vision to get a sense of my surroundings…it is dark…really dark…beep, beep, beepI claw my way deliriously across the vast king size mattress to the nightstand and try feverishly to turn off the alarm (OH PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!) …beep, beep, beep. In my drowse, I grab at the alarm clock…fumbling…pressing all matter of depressions and protrusions (WHERE THE FUCK IS THE BUTTON!!!) … beep, beep, beep

I really need my sleep. I hate being away from home. I always have a hard time getting to sleep when I am on the road. Because of the two-hour time zone difference, I simply could not get to sleep until midnight local time (that’s 10:00 PM Arizona time). I am here for the Southwest Foodservice Expo. I have a big presentation at 9:00 AM tomorrow morning (or is it today…Hello! What time is it? Maybe it’s time to get up…but…I brought my own alarm clock and it doesn’t sound at all like this)… beep, beep, beepThrough my half-open eyelid, I try to make out the numbers on the alarm clock. As the faint, blue digital numbers come into focus, I am stunned…1:03 AM… beep, beep, beep (SHIT!!!!! I’VE ONLY BEEN ASLEEP AN HOUR!!!!).

I reach for the nightstand lamp and immediately get zapped by static electricity (DAMN!). I twist the small metal switch between my thumb and index finger on my right hand…beep, beep, beep. The bright light hits me like a slap in the face. (Uh!) Both eyes are now open and as I struggle to adjust to the light,

I swing my legs around from under the bedcovers. The chill of the way-too-cold air conditioner makes goose bumps out of the hair follicles on my legs (why do these hotels keep the rooms so damn cold!?)…beep, beep, beep I am out of bed, falling to my knees on the carpeted floor. I grab the heavy nightstand and jerk it forcefully from the wall. The lamp comes crashing down onto the floor but the cursed alarm clock is still there (laughing at me; mocking me) …beep, beep, beep

I reach for the alarm clock cord and yank it…hard…but it doesn’t budge (WHERE’S THE GOD DAMN PLUG?). I notice that the alarm clock cord runs down the wall to the floor and behind the bed… beep, beep, beep I place my feet against the wall and crouch towards it. I grip two hands on the edge of the bedframe and lay my back into it as the heavy bed heaves from the wall, the small metal wheels squeaking like mice scurrying along the carpet.

Beep, beep, beepI reach for the cord and pull, but it still doesn’t give…

Beep, beep, beepI clutch the bedframe yet again and jerk it over and over until I can finally see the socket way back toward the middle of the wall.

Beep, beep, beepI grab the cord with both hands and strain to wrench it from the receptacle. I feel the small metal plug pins bend…and then, finally, yield…

Beep, beep, beep…WHAT THE FUCK?!! (NO!)…It’s the alarm clock in the next room…