Tuesday night at the sectional, I’m glancing around at the other tables and wondering where the other B/C/D players disappeared to over the dinner break — the evening game bears an uncanny resemblance to the A/X game from that afternoon. I try not to alarm my partner and settle in to get my head handed to me.
Tuesday night also finds me fighting off that special kind of fatigue brought on by too little sleep followed by too much bridge. On Monday I had played 6 hours of bridge on 3 hours of sleep and that night I was working on 7 hours of bridge on 4 hours of sleep. The bottle of “5 Hour Energy” that I downed fifteen minutes before was absorbed into the haze without a trace. I’m amused by the image of the little running man on the cap, at that moment he looks to me to be running away and I can’t help but take it as a suggestion. My boards are going directly to two of the best players in the whole area and I thought that afternoon had been a blood bath.
All of which only serves to demonstrate how remarkable the human mind can be even when being treated so poorly. Part way into the evening and long after I’d forgotten my name, my manners and the bidding a familiar situation arose and my holding of Jxxxx while defending against 2NT raised an alarm somewhere in the back of my addled brain. A week ago, I had found myself in a very similar situation and escaped, but only just. In this case I had the luxury of some leeway with my initial discards and so was able to avoid discarding from the suit in question — not so remarkable until one considers it was all I could do to follow suit that night.
The human brain is built for pattern recognition, “The last time I heard that sound, I almost got eaten by a lion so I’m going to start running RIGHT NOW!” Good thing too because it isn’t as if I’m going to start getting enough sleep anytime soon.