Saturday, November 05, 2005

November 5

Outrageous! Two in the morning and I am wide-awake. I may need to see a doctor; I think I have insomnia. I get very sleepy at about 9:00PM and then at two or three or four I wake up and can’t go back to sleep. I get tired during the day and often take long naps – I hate this. I just want to sleep like a normal person.

Yesterday I went to the Citadel in Charleston, SC with my stepfather to hear him address a class of cadets (See: November 4). It was an unusual day for me, an anti-war New Yorker who never served in the military, sitting in a room with a group of young people in uniform, heads shaved, gray shirts pressed stiff and tightly fitted to their youthful frames, young men, and a few women, many of whom will soon put on the uniform of their country and go to war and die. They sat and listened to an old soldier tell his stories from the Great War, stories of death and triumph. I could not help but feel that many of the students in the room felt that what they were hearing had little or no relevance to what might be awaiting them in some yet un-named war in their future. The old man who stood before them fought with primitive weapons, he was a civilian soldier unlike the soldiers of today, who are all “professionals”, armed with the latest killing instruments, an army of superior force and technology. Those distinctions aside, there was an unmistakable kinship among the men and women present. They were all soldiers, people who were prepared to die in the service of their country. As much as I loathe violence of any kind, I could not help but admire their commitment to sacrifice.
Following the lecture we ate lunch in the Mess Hall. We sat in a huge room with 2000 cadets. Ear-splitting shouts went up from the rigid-backed freshmen cadets as they addressed their superior officers. The atmosphere was not conducive to digestion, and neither was the food, which consisted of a breaded chicken filet on a white bun, Doritos and some variety of pancake. I could not imagine how these young soldiers could survive on such paltry rations.

We went out to dinner together last night for the first time in a long, long time. I drank three glasses of wine with dinner – far more than I’ve had to drink in months and this morning my head hurts. My brother and sister took care of His Holiness and reports were that he was a happy little boy all night, watched Bambi twice and went to bed without incident at 8:30 … He was sleeping soundly when we got in and sleeps still as I sit here typing into the coming day.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know how you feel, lying in bed fighting to get asleep. For several weeks I had had the same problem, getting tired around 10:00 PM or so, eventually waking up at 3 or 4 in the night, and finally lying awake till the next morning.

In your situation, i.e. doing such a huge step as you will move to Europe, thousands of thoughts might pass your mind. Has it been the right decision? What will life be in Europe, in Cologne? What about my son?... I think this is rather 'normal' and anyone in a similar situation would suffer from sleeplessness.

These days I have recovered from my sleeplessness, and I find the peace I need to get asleep...

Keep writing down your thoughts, I enjoy your way of writing - it 'sounds' nice...!

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Nicky said...

Hi Richard,
thanks for visiting d:d! Just checked out you're blog and will stay tuned... 'Wish you all the best for the move, hope you like Cologe ;)

5:34 PM  

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