Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Sometime after 8:45 p.m. Friday, I fell asleep. My next coherent thought came just before dawn on Sunday, when I looked outside and realized it was snowing. Bastards, I thought. You swore it wasn't going to snow on Saturday.

I swiped my phone's screen to see what time it was and saw the calendar icon: Sunday 24.

I felt a little faint just then.

"Good," Addie said later, when I related the story to her. "You're making up for, what, the past year of not sleeping?"

Profound unconsciousness caused by disease, injury, or poison: that's the first definition of "coma," according to Merriam-Webster, and depending on what you consider poison, I guess I was in a coma. I do know I was out — only one memorable dream, and a profound ache on my left side from being in one position for far too long. Doing the math, I figure I was out for the better part of 30 hours.

Doc tells me I was awake for part of that time, to wish him a safe journey as he made a trek north, but that brief episode escapes me. I do remember screaming in a dream as a cold, shrieking wind separated me from a person by my side, but there was no dialogue, no deeper takeaway from that snippet. I don't even know who the person was, or why I would be upset at being pulled away from (him) (her) (them).

I do know I spent the rest of Sunday in a deep funk. I mean, losing a day of your life in a black hole is bad enough, but Saturday? Why couldn't it have been a rainy Tuesday, or an icy Thursday? Why did the abyss have to swallow my Saturday and leave me in a puddle of drool?

Truth: it scares me, the idea of pulling a Pat Travers for 30 hours. It's all fun and games and party, right up until someone lapses into a coma. Then it stops being funny, especially when the someone is you and there's no one around to slap you awake and knock some sense into your stupid little pinhead. Even during my hardest jags I've never collapsed for more than 12 hours, and that was after some serious sleep deprivation. What happened Friday night was careless, and stupid, and senseless. No metric miscalculation — just an honest mistake by a fool who should have known better.

Really, I'm not trying to cash in on the Big Sleep. I don't want to be some brief on 2B, or a two-line story at the end of a one-minute radio newscast. I've got things to do, life to live. May 5 is a Sunday, so the anniversary party will have to start on May 3 and roll into the next two days, when Nate and Sid and Dr. News have their birthdays and I celebrate a year since the stroke. That's a weekend I don't intend to sleep away.

1 comment:

Frank and Natalie said...

I'd say that was much more than a year of not sleeping. I have often thought and prayed you were getting sleep.
You need it, Ron.