it’s late night and i’m tired. i’m in a night bus in the middle of nowhere in a 6 hours trip to an airport. i don’t see the outside but i know it’s raining heavily, cold, about to get snowing. thanks to the spotlight that’s illuminating my seat i can also see and get distracted analyzing the funny patterns in the upholstery in the seat in front of me. this tiny space in between these two seats, which i have made mine this night despite many owned it before me, is all i’ll have for the coming 6 hours. that, and the noise of the rain to the other side of the cold window.
i’ve never been able to sleep in a seat, no matter how expensive or comfy. i need horizontality. so in these cases i either switch my brain off to 5% of consciousness, which i find really easy to do, or go the completely opposite way and start thinking heavy or doing some mental homework. despite tonight i’m too tired for this second option, and despite the former seems pretty appealing, i decide to give a try to something new. or, well, something old – i put my headphones and connect to the local radio stations.
gosh, it seems i have to look way, way back in my memories in order to find when it was the last time i did this. i think i can track my relationship with the radio down to when i was 23 and i would listen to it while studying (mostly by osmosis) the electric field propagation equations for waveguides. yes, i think the last time i listened to the radio was about ten years ago. i used to do it as a way to make my last-minute-and-therefore-desperately-long-studying nights easier to make through. i remember being awake till 4 and 5 am studying, writing equations, looking at pictures, and trying to build an intuition around then. in the darkness of those winter nights, freezing cold outside, most of the times raining and a few rare times snowing, with the only company of my little spotlight lamp, in that rented apartment that others owned before me but that was mine now, i would switch the radio on and listen to some weird late night radio cast.
tonight i caught a program on literature. they read fragments of new books with delightful stories, do clever analysis of their styles and content, and they tell the context of the writing and the author all with pretty words, beautiful sentences, constructions, structures and ideas, in mellow yet assertive voice. i quickly start feeling the sweet tickles and the pleasure of my brain being massaged by all these wonders. suddenly, the perspective of 6 hour in this tiny space under the spotlight with the sound of the rain to the other side of the cold window doesn’t feel any bad at all.