Proxy jetlag

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“A deserted castle, shrouded in half-light with all the curtains drawn” (von Sachsen-Rampton, 1898)
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That condition you have when you haven’t, personally, been anywhere but you share a house with a spouse and children who have just got off a plane from Auckland.

As a result, they will want to eat toast, watch TV, play Grand Theft Auto and have trivial conversations with you throughout the night, notwithstanding that you don’t, and in fact have to be at the office at the normal time in the morning.

After three days of this torture, you will feel like you too have just got off a 26-hour flight.

By day, proxy jetlag is rather like being Jonathan Harker in the early stages of Dracula. You creep around a deserted castle, shrouded in half-light with all the curtains drawn. If you should happen to turn on any lights, there will be a sudden, bloodless scream, a bundle of what you thought were rags or discarded, unwashed laundry will animate and a pale (yet, strangely, tanned) zombie with dead eyes will wave woozily at you by way of mortal plea to return to a state of darkness.

There is a view that Bram Stoker was inspired to write his Gothic masterpiece after experiencing proxy jetlag (then called “boatman’s delirium”).

See also