September 5, 2016:

My rowbuddy's a big guy with a raging case of sleep apnea. Even before takeoff he's out, head back larynx to ceiling, breathing or not, interrupting himself with great gulping lurches of deep breaths. From time to time he slumps over onto me and I startle him awake by clapping my hands loudly under his nose. It's like that all the way to Denver.

It's only as we deplane that he apologizes and explains. His father passed away yesterday, he's had no sleep: and then at last I finally pay attention, and notice the anguished puffy red of grief around both eyes.