Saturday, November 7, 2009

Roomie--5 Time Zones Away

A few nights each week I wake up briefly when my roommate's alarm goes off. It goes off 3 or 4 nights each week at 0300!!! 3am. My roommate, Nickey Smith, is a squad leader in the motor pool and has to report to work by 0600. He wakes up at 3am to use the gym when it is empty. I go when it's crowded, but he really doesn't like crowds.

With my new job, I can sleep till 0700 if I want to eat the everything breakfast. I can sleep till 0800 if I want to skip breakfast. We get up 5 hours apart and we both work days--sort of. I work 9 to 6 then come back, eat dinner, work out or go to book groups, then work till midnight or later sometimes. So I can sleep late. Nickey has a fixed schedule. So when I come in the CHU to change at 6 or 7pm Nickey is sometimes already asleep. He is almost always asleep by the time I pickup my pack to go back to work at 9 or 10 at night.

If I work late enough I might be up for his alarm. Nickey is a great roommate. We each do our best to keep the room dark and quiet for the other. Nickey's locker divides the room so we each have low-power lamps we can use while the other one is sleeping. Most days, one of us is asleep between 8pm and 8am.

Right now Nickey and I are on sleep schedules so far apart it is as if one of us was in China and one in Iraq. Or one in Iceland and one Iraq. Five time zones is the difference between the east coast of the US and London, or between Chicago and Hawaii, Paris and Mumbai.

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