There is an affliction to which I am occasionally prone and it perturbs me somewhat when I am struck by it. It seems to be more common at this time of year than in the months of the spring or the summer but, in reality, it can strike at any time. I am a commuter; this much about me is commonly known (and is commonly shared with many millions of others). I am, however, one of those commuters who, on the occasion that he does manage to snag a seat, can have something of a tendency to fall asleep.
It happens more so at this time as I tend to be wrapped up in warm clothes travelling on a train that has the heating whacked up on full. These things are not conducive to wakefulness and so, with a kind of tedious inevitability, the eyelids begin to droop, the head begins it's inexorable journey down towards the chest and the terrifying rumble of the snore begins to make it's presence from somewhere within the chestal region. All of which is topped off by the embarrassment of making that abbreviated snorting noise accompanied by a wide-eyed stare as you panic yourself awake for the amusement of other passengers.
It irks me so for two main reasons. Firstly, I always end up contorted into some unnatural position which, more and more as time has it's wicked way upon my body, leads to aching of the back and neck when I get off the train. Secondly, and most importantly, it robs me of my reading time.
You see, currently my daily commute affords me around an hour or so of reading time and that's a precious chunk of time transported away to someone else's world. I resent it if that time is stolen away from me by half-hearted sleep that doesn't even give me any dreams in return - just a blank lack of time and a crooked neck.
So, if someone out there could invent some sort of stop-Nick-dozing-off-on-a-warm-train-so-he-can-read-about-spaceships machine, that would be really rather splendid. Chop chop, then, people, get to it.