Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I guess they do EVERYTHING bigger in Texas

I cannot sleep on planes. In fact, in my entire flying career, I don't think I've ever managed anything more than a slight doze, no matter what the time or circumstance. I've tried everything that is reasonably safe - getting up really early the day before so that I'll be tired, having a few drinks, more than my usual dose of Tylenol PM, even some Ambien, but the unfortunate reality is that unless I'm comfortably lying down, I just can't manage to drift off. I have finally accepted this as a reality of my being, and now when on a flight, I just go au natural, let fate take it's course, and deal with being tired the next day. Being naturally tired is much better than having taken sleep aids and had them not work - then you're doubly fucked up.

On the last day of my trip last week, my little group was joined by another little group - a few lucky coworkers from a distributor in Texas who had won this trip in an incentive contest. We met them at the Milpansa airport right outside of Milan, fresh off of their red-eye.

One look, and there was no mistaking this group as being, definitely, from Texas. Beaded denim jackets, flowing skirts, and cowboy boots abounded. They had long, slow drawls and seemed like a hugely good time. I was instantly disappointed to be leaving the next day. To strike up conversation, I turned to the one lady of the group.

"How was your flight?" I asked. "Were you able to sleep?"

"Oh yeah, no problem!"

"Ugh, lucky you. I can never sleep on planes!"

"Well, honey, I've got a little secret weapon - I took me some Ambien!"

"Oh, I've used that before... works in real life, but not on flights for me."

"Well, it worked for me! I took three of 'em!"

My eyes widened and I tried my best to keep the look of shock off of my face. Lord knows, if I took three Ambien I'd be a drooling, if not dead, mess.

"Good lord, how are you awake now?"

"Well, let's just say that this Italian espresso is a great thing." She smiled, and I cursed myself once again for having to leave the trip early. Something tells me they had quite a week after I departed on a (sleepless) flight back to the states the next day.


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