Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Perched on the edge of Kruger National Park, the night was filled with sounds. Having spent most of our time in the densely populated urban areas of Lima, Santiago and Buenos Aires, we were used to harsh blaring of horns, screaming sirens, and alcohol-fueled bellowing in the night. But this continuous dialogue outside our room's sliding glass doors was the natural nocturnal language of the wild.  
There was no reason for me to be up at 4 AM, but I was. It is a typical occurrence, which reminds me again that I have Parkinson's disease and, despite being tired, insomnia is simply one of the common symptoms. This situation dictated the common response. First, I made the obligatory bathroom attendance. Unnecessary, but it seemed to be the thing to do when one wakes up in the middle of the night. I thought I had become quite adept at moving about in any given hotel room completely in the dark. However, just as pride goes before a fall, I proved that I did not have the stealth of any other nocturnal animals by promptly knocking the lamp off of Carson's bedside table onto the floor. If the crash (which was extremely loud to me even without my hearing aids) had not awakened him, then certainly my fumbling about in the dark to put things back in their place did so. He admitted later that the first thing he had checked after the heart-stopping crash was to make sure that I was not in my bed, not wanting to anticipate what to do if I was there. I was definitely awake now; more like on high alert with my heart racing and, at the same time, feeling apologetic and pathetic.

Faced with the impossible task of returning to sleep, second on the agenda was to check for incoming e-mail and commentary on the blog. Given the hours of time difference, it was not even late on the North American continent. I managed to noiselessly unplug my charging computer and retreated to a chair strategically placed in a corner of our room. Apparently, our room was close enough to the lobby area (the only Wi-Fi zone in the hotel) that we received a temperamental and weak signal in that one corner. This enabled me to connect to the Internet without having to get dressed and exit the room through an incredibly squeaky door, thereby avoiding Carson's slumber further.
Having completed my Internet diversions, I crawled back into my now cool bed and listened to the changes in the symphony that rang out through the trees as the darkness began to pale ever so slightly. Although hardly a lullaby, it seemed calming and sleep returned.
It was past 9 AM when I awoke. I immediately felt stressed, my PD tremors returning to my limbs with a vengeance. My thoughts raced into reality. I was in Kruger National Park. There was no time to be lost. There was so much to be seen. I was wasting the day by sleeping so late. As those thoughts flooded in they frightened off the peacefulness that remained after the personal nocturnal concert I had been gifted.

1 comment:

  1. "Visions Of Johanna"

    Ain't it just like the night to play tricks when you're tryin' to be so quiet ?
    We sit here stranded, though we're all doin our best to deny it
    Lights flicker from the opposite loft
    In this room the heat pipes just cough
    The country music station plays soft
    But there's nothing really nothing to turn off...bdylan