Ever been awake for seven solid days? I have.
In 1998 I was translating Alfons Cardinal Stickler’s chapter-length memoir of Vatican II from German into English. I was consumed by self-doubt: was my German really good enough to do justice to his ideas?
So on a related note, I suddenly found I couldn’t sleep.
It got to the point where I couldn’t even remember how I used to do it. Did I just lie here? Did I think about things? What the heck did I do?
So I went to the university health service.
“These are tranquilizers,” the doctor said. “You can take as many as four. Start with one.”
I started with one. Nothing.
Two. Nothing. Three. Nothing.
I went back the next day.
He was flabbergasted that I hadn’t slept.
“These are sedatives,” he said. “You can take as many as two, along with the tranquilizers. This WILL make you sleep.”
I was delighted.
That night I took the four tranquilizers and one sedative.
I couldn’t believe it.
I took the second sedative.
I said to myself, “I can’t believe….”
And I was out.
The curse was broken. I slept.
Make sure you speak good German, so you don’t lose sleep.
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