Friday, June 23, 2006

The SF Chronicles, Part I: The Flight

As is my wont, I didn't really sleep the night before my flight. I usually do this, particularly when I have obscenely early flights, because I am petrified that I will oversleep and miss my flight. Sure enough, I made it to the airport at 5:45 a.m. for my 7:00 a.m. flight on about two hours of sleep.

This usually isn't a big deal because, unlike many people I know, I can sleep on planes. Without a problem (with the exception of those annoying knots in the neck and the uncomfortable tightness in the butt). Sometimes I'll crash out even before the plane has taken off. Especially now that most flights don't pass around food, there's no real reason for me to wait up for anything.

So sleep I did, and thought nothing of it.

I woke up, by sheer coincidence, just as we were preparing to land in Oakland. I made a quick trip the bathroom, then took my seat just as the pilot announced that the flight attendants should prepare for the descent.

Then I had the following conversation with my seatmate:

Him: So, are you from around here?
Me: No, out east. Uh, you?
Him: Louisiana.
Me: Ah, cool.
Him: [...] So are you married?
Me: ... Uh, no.

By this point I'm wondering what the hell is going on. Asking where I'm from is, I guess, standard acceptable conversation when you're talking to a fellow traveller, but this is an odd leap from a perfect stranger.

He pulls out an index card on which he was scribbled a few notes.

Him: You're going to want to see a doctor when you get home.
Me: [groans softly]

His note card contains some observations he had made during my slumber. They included "loud snoring" and "stopped breathing," and the dreaded words "sleep apnea" (which is apparently also known as a gay sleep disorder).

Him: You possibly have sleep apnea.
Me: I know. I've actually been dealing with issue for years now.
Him: Well, at least you know.
Me: Yes. And thanks for your concern. Though now I'm terribly embarrassed to have snored so loudly right next to you. And then to have stopped breathing.

Well, something had to counterbalance the unsolicited and greatly appreciated "upgrade" to a bulkhead seat with its attendant extra legroom.


MoDigli said...

What a friendly, helpful seatmate!

I've heard of sleep apnea, but never knew it had a tendancy to be a gay issue. I didn't read your link, but I can't imagine WHY it would be more common in gay men.

MoDigli said...

Just read the link.

I'm such a sucker! Seriously, I am so gullable!

Will said...

As a fellow brother in gay sleep I understand the feeling.

Wendy said...

This puts house call at a new level (about 40,000 ft).

Jon said...

So your seatmate wasn't a doctor, I take it...

I still don't get the 'are you married' question. Did you get a 'weirdo' vibe from this guy?

Dennis! said...

Modig: Will has yet to find out why that question was at all related to his diagnosis. But it was funny as hell when I read it.

Jon: Nah, he wasn't all that weird. I think the "married" question is a way of establishing that I have no permanent bedfellow to let me know about how badly I snore and how I stop breathing in the night.