Black poured in as I opened my eyes; my ears were deafened with silence. All I could gather was that I had been sleeping. I was literally at a loss for where, when and almost who I was in this sense vacuum yet this wasn’t a dream. Additionally there was a pressing problem, I needed the toilet.
I am not alien to waking up in unusual places due to my work and lifestyle. Last year I regularly slept in up to ten diverse locations within a thirty day period. These ranged from friend’s beds and couches, mining camps, airplanes and buses, campervans and multiple hotel rooms both in Australia and overseas. Despite the multiplicity of cradles, seldom does it take me more than a second to realise where I am, but not always…
I once awoke on the back of a car trailer under a tree somewhere in the Northern Territories of Australia with no knowledge of how I got there. Another time I was in a duvet cloud of a beautiful fresh white bed draped with pristine mosquito nets floating in warm light. These are two episodes I remember now yet for a moment at the time I felt like a newborn in an unknown land.
When opening my eyes in unrecognisable settings I usually pause, holding on to the feeling of location bewilderment for as long as possible. Occasionally I manage twenty seconds before my Sherlock senses and memory draw the strings together and I self-GPS.
Back in my black hole, I searched for any event horizon to triangulate myself. Surprisingly there was only one star within my visual grasp belonging to a charging device near the floor; this red dwarf was unrecognisable to me and shed almost no light around it. I ran my hands along the bed and with my feet on the floor I carefully sat up, armourless to any protruding objects. I moved away from the bed and kept low, feeling my way till finally, and given my predicament it felt like a very long finally, I put my hand on a metal handle. I pulled gently and the door opened.
At the speed of light a beam shone through the room and I saw where I was; the labyrinth I was navigating finally allowed me to find myself.
I was in a futuristic hotel room in Glasgow, Scotland on holiday with my girlfriend and parents. We’d been out to a club called 78 that evening for Sunday Jazz. Unknowingly, the few beers I consumed before I went to bed that night were to be a ticket to a black hole.
I loved the experience, albeit would have preferred it without such urgency, and thought I’d share this as a reminder;
“When life gives you lemons, tear those lemons open to find the diamonds of life experience inside.” David Woodier