Last week, I repeatedly mistook the same chair for Bonnie, and I heard voices coming from a radio that was unplugged; both no doubt due to a lack of REM sleep. When the insomnia first hit me, I lay in bed longer to catch-up on my sleep. My back soon hurt so bad that I couldn’t lie on it, yet I couldn’t lie on my sides or my stomach either due to the tendonitis in both shoulders. What sleep I did get was interrupted by dreams of suffocating in airless rooms, suffering cyanide related seizures in a Nazi death chamber, or vomiting due to exhaust fumes. I have never faced a more dismal prospect than that of finding sleep and wakefulness equally impossible. I realized that there was a limit to how long I could hold up either psychologically or physically, yet the prospect of leaving Peggy by my own hand seemed equally cheerless.
I have gone to a lot of trouble and expense (including two surgeries) over the past ten years in an effort to remedy my sleep problems, yet they have grown increasingly worse. The only advantage I have found in such things is that they allow me to make a more accurate appraisal of human frailty. People who have not known sickness cannot know how tenuous health is, yet it is knowledge worth having. I read the thoughts of the benefactors of my species, and I contemplate the extent upon which their thoughts were based upon such things as trace minerals and sleep, things that they so often despised. How ungrateful the man who loathes that upon which his every thought depends.