For the second time in three months I’ve flown home on a red-eye flight and gone to work. I do not recommend this. I managed to get possibly even 3 hours of sleep on the way, but that’s rather less than the recommended amount. Notwithstanding this, my eyes are not in fact red. I suppose they’re slightly bloodshot, but not badly (I could take a picture, but if I used flash I’d have another kind of red eye: that reflection off the retina). And they’re not red around the outside from rubbing, crying, or allergies either.
I could have used red-eyes to help myself get to sleep, I suppose. By which I mean a mixture of beer and tomato juice (this is apparently a Western Canadian thing, which is why it seems to me like everyone must know it). But I’d risk needing to get up halfway through the flight, which is not good for my sleep or for that of anyone between me and the aisle. On the other hand, I could use red-eye in the US sense, which is cheap whiskey; that would probably serve the turn a little better, as long as I didn’t overdo it.
I am less sure that I would be helped to sleep by anything else called a red-eye. That includes a kind of cicada, a kind of bird, and several kinds of fish. The bird is a songbird, so that wouldn’t help; the cicada is a cicada, and say no more. Please. The fish would be silent but, out of the tank, they could smell; I can’t say whether eating them (cooked) would aid sleep or not.
Well then. The other way about it is just to have some red-eye gravy afterwards. That’s ham gravy made with coffee. Yes, the bone in a ham can be like a red eye, but I do think it’s the coffee and associated sleep deprivation that gets it the name. The caffeine and protein (from the ham, which you are surely eating) ought to keep you going for a little while, anyway.
I hope I shall not have to muse on such things again soon. I have no love for red-eye flights. Which reminds me that for a long time, I thought Golden Earring’s song “Radar Love” was “Redeye Love.” “We have a thing that is called redeye love…” Well, why not? Love that keeps you up all night? Better that than jet noise, clinking ice cubes, loud conversations, and small children screaming.