It was only after I reached Portland yesterday that I realized I had passed through four time zones in a little more than twenty-four hours; a new personal record. I was standing, but my body felt as though it had been neatly and expertly de-boned like a turkey galantine.
My brain, which is congenitally befogged on the best of days, was on the verge of shutting down. I woke twice in the night, confused, in a cold sweat. Happily my custom of leaving bedside notes for myself prevented a full-blown panic attack and unmanly screams that might have summoned the police.
The third time I woke, it was to (as Sister Mary Cynthia used delicately to put it) visit the gentlemen's private accommodation. I was perhaps twenty percent awake, the room was dark, and I felt in my head (as I always do on the first night ashore) the delicate rocking that suggested I slept yet in the luxurious bosom of Mother Cunard.
So I padded over to where the bathroom was in my cabin on the Queen Mary 2; and it was only when by happy chance a sleeve brushed my face that I came to full awareness and narrowly avoided having a hearty pee into the shoes on the floor of my closet at the Red Lion Inn.