This comic sort of seemed like it should have another punchline in the 4th panel, but the punchline is: insomnia. If have it, you get it. If you haven’t got it, you’re lucky. I’ve had it my entire life. I can literally remember lying in my bed at the age of 3, staring at the ceiling, unable to sleep, even though my parents had long since gone to bed and it was the middle of the night. On a good night, it typically takes me about 45 minutes to go under. Since I’ve been here, it’s more like 4 or 5 hours. Tossing and turning and rolling over to note that the sky is lightening and another day has dawned despite my inability to put the previous day to bed (so to speak) provokes a scary mix of dread and futility.
Of course, I still wake up at approximately my regular time, even if I’ve only passed out a few hours before. Then I sleepwalk through the day, vaguely hurting and feeling ineffective. All week.
In real life, of course, I sleep next to The Man, who could not accompany me on this trip. So I’m sort of used to his presence, and it makes me comfortable. And I’ve grown accustomed to the sound of his CPAP, which is a sort of reassuring reminder that he’s still breathing, and helps me relax. And we sleep in a queen sized waterbed, which we’ve had for 5 years. When you like sleeping in a waterbed, there’s really no substitute. Well, maybe there is, but a 30-year-old twin mattress on a bunk bed is not it.
If there’s an upside to chronic insomnia it’s that lack of sleep skews your perception of time, which can be an upside if it makes the day go by quickly, or if it makes the recent past feel like the distant past. In other words, insomnia makes you suffer, but you experience the suffering in a compressed way, and then file it in your brain as a long-ago memory.