Short Story of the Day, Never End with Termination by Marcus Pactor

“Mario, what do you get when you cross an insomniac, an unwilling agnostic and a dyslexic?”

“I give.”

“You get someone who stays up all night torturing himself mentally over the question of whether or not there’s a dog.”
― David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

Found tacked to a corkboard by a photobooth, Molly’s At the Market, French Quarter, New Orleans

From my blog (I called it an “Online Journal” then), The Daily Epiphany, Tuesday, January 2, 2001 Twenty years and one day ago. It’s odd to read about respiratory illness from the days (decades) before COVID

Sleep deprivation

There seems to exist, in this best of all possible worlds, a cruel virus, one that swirls around specifically at holiday time. When I’m home, with time on my hands, a chance to do some things I actually want to do for once… and the virus strikes. A world of headache, sinus drainage, ache, and worst of all, uncontrollable coughing.

The tough decision is whether or not to take cold medicine. It helps the symptoms, but really messes me up. A gulp of Nyquil and I sleep like the dead, but it stuffs my head with what feels like warm wet cotton for days afterward.

One night I tried it alone and was rewarded with an awful hacking cough every time I tried to lie down. I would bounce up and down – sneezing and heaving all night, watching the relentless movement of the clock, the red digits advancing, entropy irrevocably increasing.

That night really messed my sleep schedule up. I began sleeping later and later and staying up ’til the wee hours. I’m not a morning person anyway and am susceptible to this weakness of lassitude.

I knew it would be a struggle to get up early to make it back to work today so I tried going to bed early last night. No dice… couldn’t sleep. The alarm went off anyway.

I remember reading in the Gulag Archipelago Solzhenitsyn saying that the worst torture was when they would simply keep him awake for days and days. Sleep deprivation. I hate it too.

Today I was a zombie at work. Dizzy, sleepy, needing REM rest. After being off for so long it was hard enough to remember my passwords and what the hell I was supposed to be doing at the place – in my deprived condition I was a mess. All I could do was dream of getting home and to sleep and watching the clock slowly tick around.

And a Short Story for today:

Short Story of the Day, Never End with Termination by Marcus Pactor

From 3:AM Magazine

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