"They were now in the passenger compartment and Zaphod's heart stopped still again for a moment.
In every seat sat a passenger, strapped into his or her seat. The passengers' hair was long and unkempt, their fingernails were long, the men wore beards. All of them were quite clearly alive - but sleeping.
Zaphod had the creeping horrors.
He walked slowly down the aisle as in a dream. By the time he was half-way down the aisle, the stewardess had reached the other end. She turned and spoke.
'Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,' she said sweetly, 'Thank you for bearing with us during this slight delay. We will be taking off as soon as we possibly can. If you would like to wake up now I will serve you coffee and biscuits.'
There was a slight hum. At that moment, all the passengers awoke.
They awoke screaming and clawing at their straps and life support systems that held them tightly in their seats. They screamed and bawled and hollered till Zaphod thought his ears would shatter.
They struggled and writhed as the stewardess patiently moved up the aisle placing a small cup of coffee and a packet of biscuits in front of each one of them.
'Passengers are to be kept temporarily in suspended animation, for their comfort and convenience. Coffee and biscuits are being served every year, after which passengers are returned to suspended animation for their continued comfort and convenience. Departure will take place when the flight stores are complete. We apologize for the delay (Source
About two weeks ago, I was sitting in a conference room at work attending a meeting. Suddenly, I "woke up."
For the first time in nearly a decade, I "realized" where I was. It was like being legally blind for ten years, then suddenly handed a pair of glasses which granted me 20/20 vision. I could see
, and feel again! But what I saw and felt filled me with utter dread.
I was like a passenger in the above Douglas Adams excerpt-- total panic and horror seized me. But before I could scream or react... *whoosh*, back into the haze I descended. Like being returned into suspended animation after only a moment's consciousness-- returned, for my "comfort and convenience", and by my own mind.
Then, for the past six days, I have had a sudden relapse of my chronic insomnia. I've been living off of four or five hours of sleep per night. And I am miserable
with the cumulative toll it's starting to take.
I don't know whether to be encouraged, or discouraged
by these unforeseen events. On the one hand, could I be close to a break through, whereupon I'll actually be a real
human being, and not some sort of husk-like zombie? After all, what prompted the insane, revelatory awakening, however ephemeral?
On the other hand, what I saw in the fleeting instance of my surprising and terse emergence was so ghastly, I don't know how I will ever overcome it-- in part, because its form was shaky and imprecise, so much so that I could not absolutely identify it!
All I could discern was that it was enough to make me quake and lapse immediately back into despondency, whereafter the unmasking of this phantom is so disappointingly beyond my reach.