Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Sleepless In Terre Haute

I consider it one of the biggest blessings of my life that I didn't have to share a bed with my younger brother. You probably think I'm speaking to our family's financial situation, but I'm speaking about the situation I found myself in for about two weeks every summer, where long days met restless nights because the person on the other side of the bed has issues.

Let's start with the geometry issues. Ideally, in a full-size bed, each person should have 50 percent of the available surface area. I was lucky to wind up with 25 percent. That rule should also apply to the blankets, but that percentage dropped even further: 10 percent. Brother Michael just couldn't stay in his zone. He tossed. He turned. He punched. He kicked -- all while sleeping. I'm still trying to fall asleep, but not only can I not find my space, I can't get Herb Alpert's "Behind The Rain" out of my head after the Royal Father has played it on the car's tape deck.

Hotel beds worked against us. I've told you before how their pillows are probably filled with substandard material. We had moderate success with a Holiday Inn in Terre Haute, Indiana on that first leg to the northeast.

But next summer, just across the street, at the Best Western that's now a Hampton Inn, Michael had a rough night.

He didn't just toss and turn. He whimpered and moaned. His nightmares were my load. The Queen Mother had to keep waking him up. Brother Michael's explanation for it all: "I dreamed you (my parents) were giving me over to this people." Whoever that was. Whatever that was.

Mother, for the record, had bad dreams as well: she dreamt a tornado was closing in on us. I could explain that one: "It must have been that severe weather PSA we were watching on television just before we went to bed."

The next day found us at McDonald's for breakfast, and Michael's appetite wasn't matching up with the portion sizes. Neither was mine, really. I always thought McDonald's served more hotcakes than I could handle in the morning.

Somewhere on the road, through the rest of Indiana and part of Ohio, your wee servant gathers he caught up on his sleep, with 100 percent of the 50 percent of the backseat and the white noise of the road and cruise-controlled engine to lull me off.

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