I stayed awake the entire night. My thinking was that I should work at getting a leg up on the time difference, trying to beat jetlag at its own game, without chemicals. It is also a good way to make sure you don't sleep in on the morning of your flight. My good friend Phil drove me to the airport, coming to get me at 5:15. I was early and was checked in by six. The plane was late leaving by a half hour, lifting off at around 9:30. Nearly five hours later I hurried off the plane in Vancouver, paused at the water closet and walked onto the next 737 bound for Osaka. (Needless to say the baggage handlers couldn't possibly work that fast.) The lack of sleep was catching up with me. I was trying to sleep only on Japan time, which was during the flight to Vancouver and the first part of the flight to Japan. The air crew had different ideas and wanted me to eat during the first part of the flight to Japan and sleep at the end. I managed a bit of sleep with the lights on but it wasn't easy. The guy beside me kept putting his table up and down and up and down; continued fiddling, a couple of elbows, more fiddling and Tweet! Two minutes for elbowing. Meanwhile, the person behind me was constantly hoofing my seat from underneath. He also felt the need to take the magazine out of the seat back pocket and put it back in, take it out and put it back in, while simultaneously wiggling the headrest, occasionally giving it a pop making me do faceplants into the seat ahead of me. I have no idea how he managed to keep all three things up. He was remarkably coordinated. After this peaceful nap, I took to watching an episode of Star Trek and That Thing You Do, as well as some light reading of a Bruce Sterling novel, Schismatrix. As I worked at staying awake I succumbed to a few cat naps and a rope-a-dope of caffeine and sugar in its various natural and synthetic forms. So much for trying to beat jetlag with out the aid of chemicals.
I didn't lose any eyes but marathon airline travel seems to be turning into a sport for me.