Under the heading of things that disturb your sleep, I have to say that thinking that the world is coming down around you ranks pretty high up there. I have never been so abruptly ripped out of a peaceful slumber as the time I thought all hell was breaking loose around me. It happened about a year and a half ago, The Boy was on a business trip in Las Vegas for a week and I joined him halfway through so that we enjoy Sin City together for a few days at his company's expense. I should clarify, though, that he never told his work that I would be joining him, so when they made his hotel reservations for him they booked the room for only one person, thereby making me paranoid the entire time I was there that I was going to be nabbed for being the second person in the room.
Anyway, after a night filled with the drinking and gambling that comes naturally when one is in Vegas, TB had to be up bright and early for an in-house meeting while I got to bury myself under the covers of our king bed and pretend like the day hadn't started yet. One of several things that they do right in Vegas is understand that a) people need to sleep in and b) there are a lot of bright neon lights in that town. As a result, every hotel has great big thick curtains to block out light, sun, a nuclear blast, what have you. So...there I was, safely snuggled up in a giant bed in the world's darkest room, pretty much dead to the world, when....holy mother of god, the loudest siren I have ever heard in my life starts going off above my head, accompanied by a seizure-inducing strobe light. It was deafening...I had to fight the impulse to curl up in a little ball with my hands over my ears in reaction to it, and instead flailed about, literally falling out of the king-sized bed and scrambling blindly about the floor in search of my dropped glasses. The pitch blackness of the room, combined with my own practical blindness and the blaring alarm that filled my head, reduced me to pawing all over the floor like Helen Keller without Polly Thomson. My heart was in my throat from the shock and believing that I was about to be burned alive, and I fumbled in the darkness for my belongings, feeling out my glasses and my cell phone. I ran out of the hotel room in nothing but my pajamas and rushed down the emergency stairwell and out the door.
Of course, since the hotel was filled with conference-goers and and they were already up and dressed and in their meetings, and I wasn't even supposed to be there, much less huddled outside some emergency exit in my jammies, I didn't exactly want to be running around the parking lot shouting for The Boy. Fortunately, everyone else came out of other exits and mine deposited me behind the hotel's dumpster. So, there I was, shrinking from sight, trying to figure out if the hotel was on fire, realizing that I had no way of getting back inside or proving that I was a guest, and wearing my pajamas and clutching my cell phone. I ended up calling The Boy's cell, convinced him to meet me behind the dumpster, and had him let me back into our room when the coast was clear. But...I never did get back to sleep.