This Post Comes to You Courtesy of My Jet Lag

A play in one act.

BODY, having finally consented to fall asleep at 2am Boston time, wakes up at 4am Boston time, completely alert. This is quite rational, because while BRAIN knows that sleep took place from 2am to 4am, BODY, on Sydney/Melbourne time, believes that sleep took place from 4pm to 6pm. BODY believes that it has taken a pleasant afternoon nap, presumably during a (lengthy) solar eclipse.

BODY: Wow! What a great nap! I’m ravenous! Eclipses must make me hungry!

BRAIN: [moaning] Shut up! It’s not an eclipse! Eclipses don’t last eight hours! Go back to sleep!

BODY: I’m starving! What’s for dinner?

BRAIN: I wonder if I should try to fall back to sleep, or get up and eat breakfast.

BODY: Can I have a cheeseburger?

BRAIN: I’m completely awake. Better have breakfast and do some work now, before the breakdown that will inevitably occur later this morning.

BODY and BRAIN move to kitchen and begin to putter around.

BODY: What? Breakfast for dinner again? Can’t I have some meatloaf? Can’t I have polenta? Can’t I have a steak and a meatpie? OMG!! There’s a horrible bright light shining through the window! It’s an intruder! Call the police!

BRAIN: Shut up!

BODY: OMG! It’s getting closer! It’s blinding! Call the fire department!

BRAIN: Shut up! It’s the sunrise!

BODY: You frakking moron! It’s an intruder! Close the shades!

BRAIN: No! You have to go sit in it and let it bore into your eyeballs so that you readjust to the time zone!

BODY: You frakking sadist!

BRAIN: Shut up! Just shut up! Do your work!

BODY gives in, sitting down in the bright light, rustling papers. A few hours of work go by.

BODY: Bedtime!

BRAIN: Must stay awake.

BODY: Bedtime!

BRAIN: Must stay awake until tonight or we will never get over this jet lag.

BODY: Bedtime!

BRAIN: No! No sleeping!

BODY: If you don’t let me sleep, I’ll give you a splitting headache.

BRAIN: I absolutely forbid you to sleep!

BODY: [pulling out the ace] If you don’t let me sleep, I’ll make you feel nauseated.

BRAIN: [faltering] Okay, please, no. No nausea, please. Here, let’s make a deal. If I let you watch TV for the rest of the day, will you stay awake until it gets dark again and not make me feel nauseated?

BODY: Can I watch the Star Wars movie where Amidala says to Anakin, “Hold me like you did at the lake on Naboo?”

BRAIN: [groaning] Okay, fine, but I can’t believe I let you buy that movie.

BODY: Can I watch The Two Towers extended edition, the one where Theoden says, “The horn of Helm Hammerhand shall sound in the deep one last time?”

BRAIN: We deleted that from the DVR, remember, because it was taking up, like, half the memory. And anyway, I know that’s just you trying to trick me into falling asleep and dreaming about Eomer.

BODY: Oh, I know! Can we watch So You Think You Can Dance?

BRAIN: Yes! Let’s watch So You Think You Can Dance!

Time passes as BODY and BRAIN settle into the couch watching So You Think You Can Dance.

BODY: That one judge keeps telling contestants that they’re just like the Pussycat Dolls. The weird thing is that she seems to mean it as a compliment.

BRAIN: I admit, I’ve been confused about that, too. Sit up. No lying down.

BODY: [sitting up] Can you believe Nigel just played a memory trick — for laughs — on a contestant who’s suffering from a traumatic case of amnesia?

BRAIN: I agree that that was horrible and offensive. Here, drink this tea. No yawning.

Time passes. More time passes. The sun begins to set.

BODY: OMG! Irish step dancing! I love it! I’m so proud to be Irish!

BRAIN: [begins to feel a bit apprehensive] Okay, well, don’t get too excited. Maybe you should lie down now. It’s getting late and I’m starting to feel really tired. [yawning] Oh, man. I’m EXHAUSTED.

BODY: [jumps up and begins to bound about] I think that strange fiery light from before really perked me up! I am so wide awake! I am so wide awake! I AM SO WIDE AWAKE I AM NOT GOING TO SLEEP FOR ANOTHER 24 HOURS!

BRAIN: [cries]

The end.