The thing is, since the flight left at 5:45 we were trying to leave by about 4 a.m. Since I usually get up at 5:00, that didn't seem a problem until I stayed up late getting ready. Printing stories to edit on the plane, last minute packing, etc, I managed to get to bed a little after 2:00 a.m. I had the bags packed, computer stowed, and when I finally lay down I was already dressed to go. I set the alarm for 4:00 and took about an hour and three-quarter nap.
I slept hard for that hour and forty five minutes.
Then I woke up.
Now, I'm quite tuned to my alarm clock. I absolutely hate the sound it gives off, and that seems to work in my favor: I can not sleep through it. As a matter of fact, the speaker built into the clock gives a little vacuous hiss for about one second as it powers up right before the terrible sound starts. It's comparable to the difference between an open and dead phone line - you can't really hear anything, but you know the call is still live. I'm so tuned in to the dreadful alarm sound I'll frequently wake up at the hiss, and be already reaching for the clock by the time the alarm actually starts.
This time, though, I missed the hiss. It may have been that I fell asleep with my MP3 player on - I'd used the 'sleep' function so it was no longer actually on, but I did have something in one of my ears. Ear bud or not, the alarm sounded and cut through my sleep like a knife, and my eyes popped open.
My mother's face was about eighteen inches away from mine.
I found out later that she had been calling me since about 3:30 a.m., when she got up. She'd called me from out in the hall. She'd knocked on my door. Repeatedly. She'd eventually opened the door and flipped on the light.
There I lay, flat on my back, sound asleep. She called me once or twice from the open door, then noticed the wire running up my chest and to one ear. Figuring I was deafened by tunes, she came over to shake me awake. As she reached down toward me, the alarm went off.
So I was sleeping pretty hard all that time, dead to the world one might say. Then came that knife of an alarm, slashing through sleep and prodding me forcibly awake. Jolted from that deep a sleep with such force to find someone lurking right above me, I did the most natural thing in the world.
There was a general flailing of limbs going on, my legs really going to town as they tried to disentangle themselves from the light blanket I was using, probably with the though tin mind of running to Colorado, but it was the scream that stands out in my mind. I was there. I heard it. I still don't believe it.
It was high. And piercing. High and piercing. So high and piercing that any self-respecting five-year-old girl would have, upon witnessing my thin shriek, been practically forced to tell me to 'man up'.
I heard the sound and tried to grab it back, tried to force it back into my mouth with both hands, but all I managed to do was cover my face with my palms and shout "Holy @#$%!!"
I shouted it twice.
When I was done shouting, and very done screaming like some pathetic toddler's younger sister, I uncovered my face to find my mother still there, practically unmoved. The surprise of me suddenly springing to life and screaming in her face had, compared to my own actions, embarrassingly little effect. She simply backed up about six inches to avoid my flailing arc and waited for me to shut up. Once I uncovered my face she calmly leaned in to within a foot of my face.
"It's 4:00. We have to go."
She turned around and left the room as I lay there dealing with heart palpitations. And laughing at the sound that had just come out of my mouth. I'm still laughing about it whenever I think of it.
I just can't help it. It was that bad.
And that was how my day started.
Next, I think I'll tell you about the airport.
Always an adventure, the airport.
Talk to you later!