Whenever I sleep away from home, irrespective of how great the accommodation is or how tired I am, the first night is a bit of a struggle. The bed will invariably be positioned oddly, the smells are strange, even more so the sounds- or, should I happen to be in a remote place, the lack of noise is perhaps the worst. No distant rumble of the boulevard, no occasional singing drunk, no hum of TV sets to punctuate the night. While these might sound disturbing themselves, I actually miss them, and when I wake up in the middle of the night- for I always do in new places- I will have a short moment of panic, not really knowing where I am and how I have gotten there.
Last night was such a night, and after having decided that the main road is way too far to be heard, I placed some hope on it being a horse farm- sure the beasts will neigh in the night, again, maybe not the most soothing of sounds, but still something that will reassure me that I have not been abducted mid-sleep to a silent alien planet.
The bastards must have slept though, which kind of makes sense in retrospect. So the first time when I became half awake, it was dark and quiet. Second time, still dark and quite. Increasingly not good, I thought. Third time though, I heard the rain against the window, which was almost reassuring. The fourth time- intense orange light seeping through the shades, well, this must be it, the tractor beam of the starship coming to abduct us from amidst the corn fields, which seem like the ideal place for such activity based on the extensive material provided by science fiction and horror films.
Because there is always that one idiot in the movies who walks out to be eaten first, I decided it should be me. Mercifully, though, there was no alien ship or monster out there- just the sun about to hoist itself above the horizon amidst the rain clouds which had moved on. Some people might call this a moment of grace- it did feel like it, and it was even celebrated by the timid neigh of a pony.