Friday, May 25, 2007

ronceador. (spelled wrong)

Last night I slept in a huge albergue, about 70 bunkbeds in a single room. The beds were pushed together so that you are essentially sharing your sleep with a stranger. When I returned to my bed, a chorus of giggles accompanied my arrival. The middle-aged French woman on the bed across from me, the 20 something W&M alums (Is there anywhere these people are not hiding? Go Tribe.), the late teenaged British yobs/Boy Band depending on who you ask. As I approached, I understood. My bedmate was already asleep. And he was snoring.

Loud.

Now, I´ve been sleeping in these communal settings for over a week now, and I have had extensive conversations with other pilgrims about human noises. On the mornign after, it is not uncommon to report on the status of one´s blisters and then to assess the quality of the noise from the previous night. The loudness is important but the tone, the chorus are equally relevant. Snoring has a mood.

My bedmate was a soloist. He was no ordinary snorer. He was accomplished. People above me, beside me, across from me, people from bunks away came by to offer sympathy and counsel. The French woman performed complicated mimes involving earplugs. I smiled kindly and wondered what kind of spongy material could block that sound from 2 feet away.

We laughed loudly. We heckled.

He kept snoring.

We shook the bed, tapped on the metal.

He snored louder.

One of the W&M alums clearly earned her parchment; she advised me to find another bed. I begged the albergue steward and he agreed to help me. I climbed up on my new bunk, though I had taken quite a bit of sleeping medication. I passed out and didn´t wake up until an hour after I was supposed to have met my friends . . .

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