Reaching Out

Hi all. I’m going to be heading into work a few hours early tomorrow to (hopefully) finish up part 2 of the MGTOW Survey Results, but I just wanted to blog a bit about the importance of touch. I’ll have a much more in depth post on this topic next month, yet something happened today that I can’t get out of my mind. Well, two somethings, but they’re very related.

1.
This morning, I was grocery shopping and down one aisle was an elderly man, probably around 75 years old, bent low by age. He was obviously trying to grab a container from the highest shelf with no luck, and not a single person walking by was stopping to help him. Though I didn’t need anything from this section, I went to see if I could assist. After putting my hand on his shoulder to let him know I was there, I asked him which item he needed, got it down and put it in his cart. As I’m straightening up, he grabs my wrist and kind of lurches towards me.

Now typically this sort of body language and unannounced touching would send me straight into defense mode…for some reason, not this time. My hackles were up, yes, but I willed myself to stay still and not step back as I was tightly embraced. After a few moments, I returned the hug, wrapping my arms around the man’s shoulders and purposefully relaxing my muscles. I’m sure we looked fairly odd, standing in the aisle like that. But the intense gratitude I saw on this wrinkled visage when we parted ways more than made up for it. It seemed I did more than simply retrieve a jar of honey…

2.
While I was at work this afternoon, one of the card game players approached me with a question.
“Tarn, why are women so heartless?”

I was a little surprised by how blunt the query was, but immediately understood where he was coming from. Women, like all human beings, are not a monolith and a good number of them can be very cold and mean. I myself have been on the receiving end of female cruelty, both in school and later in real life. After talking for a bit, I discovered that his girlfriend of 2 years had broken up with him on the day his uncle died, supposedly because he was getting “too weepy and needy” due to his uncle’s fatal illness and some other family issues that left him emotionally vulnerable.

So much for “all” girls liking sensitive guys. 

As my customer began telling me his failures in finding a new companion, I began to feel like I should do something. I am still not sure if it was the way he spoke, how his scent reminded me of my lover when he’s sad, or just the dejected look in his eyes…but I grasped his closest hand in both of mine. The hurt I immediately felt made me want to let go, but I didn’t until he cleared his throat. Of course I stopped, afraid I’d messed up one of the many subtleties of human body language once again, but he assured me I didn’t do anything wrong. In fact, it’d been 8 months since another person had touched him.

For the rest of our conversation I held his hand, despite my discomfort. Sadly, the pieces of advice I gave were all things he’d already used so I wasn’t much help there. But he actually thanked me for being willing to listen and treat him like a fellow person, and said that my holding his hand was the best thing that happened to him this month. (Wish I was lying about that part, honestly.)

So I put it to you, dear readers;
Have you ever noticed someone who just needed to have their humanity reaffirmed? What did you do?

Do you think our culture insists males don’t need touch, or does it affect men and women alike once we are adults?

Have you ever been hugged or asked for some type of contact by a stranger? How did you/would you react?

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54 thoughts on “Reaching Out

  1. Kudos to you on making the other person feel good inspite of your discomfort. That was very nice.
    In my culture, hugging or touching is not that much of a thing. So even if I felt it or wanted to (even if I am so not a hugging person) have never done it and replace it with words and silence (it does helps sometimes to just listen). There was one occasion though where my sister was totally losing it and one hug from me and she calmed down.

  2. Wow – I actually have a friend who’s girlfriend broke up with him when his mother died, and for the exact same reason. Shocking to hear this same story from someone else.

    “…how his scent reminded me of my lover when he’s sad…” Do you mean his scent changes depending on his mood? I’ve never heard of such a thing. btw I still await your blog post on scent! Much curious to hear more about this subject from you…

  3. Women, like all human beings, are not a monolith

    Women go back and forth on whether they’re a monolith or not. Basically, women seem to fine with being treated as a monolith until it bites them in the butt.

    This is why men end up treating women like a monolith.

  4. “Have you ever noticed someone who just needed to have their humanity reaffirmed? What did you do?”

    As a nurse on the job, all the time…too many times to mention. As a commander’s wife, all the time (helping families, paying visits, watching children, offering rides, making meals and baking cookies, ect). Been a while though…haven’t worked as a nurse in two years and now that my husband is in the Reserve they do things a lot differently.

    About the last time I did something direct for a complete stranger was a couple of months ago. I was in the checkout line, and an elderly person was yelling to their spouse across the room and saying they were very dizzy and afraid they were going to fall. No one did anything, so I left the checkout line and got a chair, placed my hand on the person’s shoulder and told them I was a nurse and helped them sit down until the spouse was finished grocery shopping. Then I got back in line.

    “Do you think our culture insists males don’t need touch, or does it affect men and women alike once we are adults?”

    Hm. I’m not sure our culture insists males don’t need touch. Hugging a stranger isn’t common, I don’t feel comfortable hugging a stranger. I think that has more to do with trust. Also, Americans have a larger need for personal space than a lot of cultures. I’m not comfortable when there’s a lot of room and someone sits right next to me instead of a chair over, either. Seems more polite to give strangers their space.

    “Have you ever been hugged or asked for some type of contact by a stranger? How did you/would you react?”
    Again, nurse. Yes.

  5. @Liz

    I figured your background would mean you’d had experience with this.

    As per your helping the elderly person…don’t you just love how so few people seem to care about our old citizens? I swear, it’s an epidemic.

  6. @KG

    I’m just glad it happened now and not years ago. I’m not positive if I’d been able to endure touch from a stranger so abruptly without reacting instinctively!

    Listening to others can definitely help. I have a coworker who talks to me about his issues all the time, and though he never wants to take any advice on actually *fixing* said problems, it seems he is happier just to have someone to rant to.

  7. I saw what you’re talking about in action around 3 weeks ago in the deli by my job. I was grabbing a surprise lunch for my coworkers and a woman was having an argument with her boyfriend over her cell phone, claiming he shouldn’t “just expect her to be okay with him going out every Friday” like his previous girlfriend was. (In other words, expressing her individual preferences.)

    When she finally hung up, her 2 friends next to her congratulated her on “keeping her man in line” and assured her that they’d have done the same exact thing…To which she kinda preened and said “of course, us ladies gotta keep on our boys”. (Showing monolithic preferences).

    It was weird to observe.

  8. “As per your helping the elderly person…don’t you just love how so few people seem to care about our old citizens? I swear, it’s an epidemic.”

    Yeah, it was almost disturbing that time. It usually isn’t quite so egregious.
    I expected someone who worked there would intervene, if nothing else to keep the store from getting sued. I looked at the checkout lady and actually said, “is someone going to help here?” She just sort of shrugged and I got out of line. There were a lot of people around. My oldest son was with me (getting driving practice with his learner’s, he drove me to the store).

  9. @UV

    It doesn’t seem to be uncommon. I can recall 7 other guys I’ve known who had either their girlfriend break up with them, or had incredibly shaky times in their relationship, when something traumatic happened and they needed emotional support. I do not understand it at all…Popular culture says that men who are sensitive are desirable, but from what I’ve seen most women prefer guys who are fairly stoic. It’s like they want men who are sensitive enough to listen and care, but aren’t comfortable with the roles reversed. Hypocritical, if you ask me.

    Wait, you can’t tell if someone you’re very close to is upset by the way their scent changes? I can really only do it with my lover, my mom, and my boss but I think that’s because I know their scents the best and it’s easy to detect subtleties. Is this atypical? I always thought it was something everyone could do.

  10. @Liz

    Congrats to your son!

    Wow, so not even any assistance from a store employee? Geez, wtf…if that was my store, that wouldn’t have happened. All of us are either sensitive to the needs of others because we have slight issues too, or have family members with disabilities. If that was my cashier, she’d have got sent home for the rest of the day.

  11. “Congrats to your son!”
    Thanks, Sophia! 🙂

    “Wow, so not even any assistance from a store employee? Geez, wtf”

    I know! It was crazy. I think people learn by example so hopefully the next time someone might do something? Who knows…Toxicity breeds toxicity and consideration breeds consideration, so kudos back at yah, Sophia. Good on you for bringing light to people…it is sure to return, either directly or indirectly. Even if that doesn’t seem to be the case I’m a big believer in karma and positive energy. 🙂

  12. @ Liz

    Even if it doesn’t come back to me directly, I’m a big supporter of the “Pay It Forward” mentality. So long as *someone* stops and helps someone else, it’s all good. 🙂

  13. Dear Tarnished,
    A few weeks ago, I spoke about how painful it was for me to go to supermarkets
    and shopping malls in the summertime because of how females were dressed.
    You said that when you go to the store you sometimes get groped by the
    males. Really? Do they blatently paw you in public? I’ve never seen such a thing
    in the stores I shop in.
    I would never be like the unfortunate virgin and TORMENT myself with “dates”
    and false hopes about sex that’s never going to occur. “Hope” IS the problem
    because it’s always somewhere down the line that “relief” is going to happen.
    Suppose it never happens? Is sex a necessity, or is it a luxary? It will kill you to
    go without food and drink. But it won’t kill you to go without sex.
    I’ve learned that just like, “The only thing to fear, is fear itself.” It applies to
    every negative emotion: envy, resentment, hatred, and anger. The thing
    “out there” is NOT the problem, providing you know where your next meal is
    coming from. It’s your inner REACTION to what’s out there.

  14. @Lon

    It’s never happened in a store, it’s only ever happened in the open areas of malls. Sometimes guys will throw their arms around my shoulders or waist and pretend I’m someone they know or mistook from the back. Those boys aren’t as annoying as the entitled douches who think flirting = initiating sexualized touch with a stranger. It seems to be stereotypically “hot” guys who do this the most…I’ll be talking to them, trying to politely decline their suggestions of dates or more, and they’ll try to caress my cheek, touch my hair/neck, or even slap my butt. At that point I completely stop the conversation and just walk away. No drinks thrown, no yelling, no slapping him, no getting others involved.

    But there’s no way in hell I’ll put up with being in the presence of someone who has no respect for my physical (and somewhat emotional) boundaries. Thankfully only 1 man has ever attempted to follow me, but even he got tired of following a silent person around a mall for 15 minutes. Probably didn’t help him that I just kept going around in a circle…up one staircase, down the “hall”, descend the other staircase, walk down the “hall”, repeat till jerkface is gone.

  15. @Lon (again)

    Hope is a powerful thing. It can give you the strength to hold out for one more day, despite the odds. It’s difficult to rekindle once completely lost, but if you don’t let it go it’s hard to kill.

    Probably why my favorite Lantern Corps is the Blue:
    “In fearful day, in raging night,
    With strong hearts full, our souls ignite.
    When all seems lost in the War of Light
    Look to the stars, for hope burns bright!”

  16. “Have you ever noticed someone who just needed to have their humanity reaffirmed? What did you do?”

    If it is someone I know, I give them a hug (usually one-armed). If not, then if they seem willing to be addressed, I ask if they are OK. Sometimes just having a stranger noticing their pain is enough for them.

    “Do you think our culture insists males don’t need touch, or does it affect men and women alike once we are adults?”

    Males are still raised to live up to the unrealistic expectations of warriors in a primal world. As such, warriors don’t touch except to inflict harm (see: the cretin which calls itself “War Machine”). While still an action which is avoided by some men, others are willing to hug without falling into the “Hugging is GAY” attitude. I find it an improvement over warrior thuggery, especially since some of history’s greatest warriors were gays.

    “Have you ever been hugged or asked for some type of contact by a stranger? How did you/would you react?”

    It very much depends on the immediate situation. Total strangers I don’t trust enough to expose myself to some warrior-based harm infliction. But if it’s someone that someone else that I know feels comfortable around, I might. There are other times that I see it’s clear such contact isn’t desired, so I refrain.

  17. “Total strangers I don’t trust enough to expose myself to some warrior-based harm infliction.”
    This is something I’ve noticed with certain men, especially shorter ones. Whereas current society doesn’t flinch when any size woman says she’s “afraid of men”, it sounds odd when a 5’0″ man says he’s also “afraid of men”. Yet I’ve met guys online…even one who sometimes comments here…that say the threat of being beaten by an average-large male is something they are aware of.

    Given this information, I’d say it’s not so much a “fear of men” that we should acknowledge but instead a “fear of being overpowered” which makes a hell of a lot more sense. This would also help men and boys who are victims of domestic violence, since it removes the concept of sex/gender from their trauma and focuses on the fact that they were harmed by someone stronger/tougher/cruel, who may very well have been a woman.

  18. ” I know a goodly number of boys/men who can’t smell very well. I wonder if it’s a sex-linked trait?”

    Maybe. I don’t have the best sniffer in the world, but there are certain aromas that capture my brain immediately. Things like good coffee, a well and properly cooked steak (apologies to any vegans reading this), cannabis, and aroused females.

    Few flowers make the list, and perfumes cause allergic reactions.

  19. @blurkel Come on! Do not apologize to vegans for liking steak. You like what you like. They like what they like. There is no shame in eating meat. Don’t apologize for who you are. If vegans have a problem with you eating meat, then guess what? It’s THEIR problem, not yours. It’s a form of PC culture, I swear. I know, I’m ranting. But, I will not let any vegan tell me what to eat or be shamed for loving steak. End rant.

  20. I agree with eddard (though I doubt Blurkel was being serious). I’ve been vegetarian for 17 years, but that’s my choice…I’ve no right to force it on anyone else, nor should I condemn others for not being squicked out by the thought of eating flesh.

    Especially since my mouth still waters when I smell the pork chops my mom makes, or a medium-well burger, or a turkey on Thanksgiving, or…*sigh*. I’m going to stop now. 😛

  21. Last week I sat with my new girlfriend through a sales presentation for a kitchen project she was considering. Since this happened at her home she wanted someone else there. I was flattered to be included.

    When the salesperson showed up he was congenial and I introduced myself as a “friend”. What followed was a fascinating cultural study.

    In short order he started to touch GF who was sitting near him with me farther away. The presentation was very professional and I was actually impressed. He continued to touch GF. Six times actually – and yes I was counting. Eventually he figured out I was a little more than a friend and the touching stopped.

    Afterwords I brought this behavior up to her and curiously she claims not to have noticed. And that I was being my typical overly sensitive self. Which I will admit is a problem.

    After further discussion I realized that one of the reasons I’m very sensitive to the touch issue is that it’s drilled into us, especially men, that you never touch anyone ever in a professional situation. I work for a big company and we get constant training on this behavior. In fact even looking at anyone is problematic. Yes, they cover that in training too. Looking at your female boss anywhere but directly in the eyes is a career ending move. So you practice, practice, practice discipline.

    I’ve noticed that I’ve become more and more sensitized to touching after spending so much time in a constrained environment.

  22. It’s an outrage if men attempt to touch you without your permission!
    I still can’t picture that happening in most public settings.
    Once, I was walking through a supermarket and noticed this woman with a
    creepy chesire cat grin. She was with another a person, probably her
    caretaker. She went right up to me and grabbed my hand. She was likely
    insane. I’m famuliar with these kinds of people because I’ve been near them,
    though I don’t want to recite why. One such woman was a former securitary
    with a shrill laugh. Paranoid Scihofrenics are the worst. They can be perfectly
    normal one minute and break your jaw the next. The most dangerous people
    ARE on the outside because they have not as yet been medicated.
    As a victim of abuse, do you think you might be giving off subtle signals?
    Most abusers have been abused themselves, and they can read the signs
    of a vulnarable person. Just be careful. There are many monsters hiding under
    the guise of good.

  23. @Lon

    It’s okay, dearheart. It is what it is, and many people (of both sexes) have it worse than me. I have never felt like I’m in any danger per se…I honestly think that these are guys who are bad PUAs, ones who initiate touch way too quickly, or are used to chicks who flirt/play hard to get/have an external locus of identity. I’m none of those so their attempts just come off as weird and annoying.

    I’m going to stress that I don’t view these men as abusers. Personally I think a fair number of them are desperate for positive female attention but have odd ways of seeking it out. They aren’t the type of person I want to be around…but neither do I consider them “threats”.

    Note: This doesn’t mean I trust people. I still am very aware of my surroundings when I’m alone or it’s late, I still carry a knife at all times, and I do not drink unless I’m staying with friends. One can acknowledge the need for safety precautions without believing there’s murderers and rapists around every corner.

    I don’t think I put out a vibe of vulnerability for others to pick up on. I walk with purpose, look people in the eyes, don’t clutch my purchases to my body, keep my gaze up and alert…Again, I think I’m just not the type of “girl” these guys assume I am and their attempts at seduction simply fall really short.

  24. @The Unfortunate Virgin
    ‘ “…how his scent reminded me of my lover when he’s sad…” Do you mean his scent changes depending on his mood?’

    I think it is true, that sadness can change scent. I hugged a man when he was sad, and his scent had changed. I knew his scent very well already. We had scrummaged and tackled each other when he taught me to play rugby, and had wrestled and skylarked around during the usual rough-and-tumble between a man and a boy. And also, we always gave each other a playful hug on greeting. So I really was familiar with the scent of the man!

    On the day of THAT hug, his scent had changed. “Sad” is the only word I can think of, to describe that new scent.

  25. I’m not a “hot” guy but I’m very warm and physically affectionate and tend to get touchy fast with both guys and women. I don’t mean anything by it except I enjoy the warmth and intimacy. Usually it goes down pretty well, especially later at night in clubs and bars where people are a bit tipsy and looser, but some people just completely freak out. Americans are particularly bad in this regard. People from other cultures often complain to me that Americans freak out when you touch them. In some cultures males holding hands is quite common. I’m not gay at all, but I actually enjoy being warm and affectionate with other men, especially when I’m drunk.

    With women, most respond well but some can’t handle it. Once late at night some chic started flirting with me on the street after I left the bar, and at one point I caressed her cheek. I don’t think I’d do that in a mall during the day, but it seemed fine in that context. But she freaked and read me the riot act, after which I apologized politely but not submissively, and surprisingly she calmed down and started smiling and flirting again. So some people in America just have a harder time with touch, and I have some male friends who completely can’t handle it.

    In general, though, in NYC, I find it goes down pretty well but I guess it has to do with the vibe. If your vibe is warm and affectionate and not creepy or gay a surprising number of people, men and women, are totally cool with it. Anyways we Americans have to chill out about this.

    I think women do like sensitive guys but maybe not necessarily vulnurable guys. I’m a very open and sensitive guy, I am friendly and warm to girls – the complete opposite of “stoic” or aloof – and in my experience women respond extremely positively to this. In fact some of my male friends who try and be “stoic” or “manly” do worse I strongly suspect only for that reason. I’m not on board with this whole “manly” thing and I find it doesn’t help with women *at all*. It’s a total myth that it does. Only insecure guys are stoic. But I am not particularly *vulnurable” in the sense that setbacks and traumas and difficult situations don’t make me break down and lose it, so maybe that’s the difference. Sensitive and emotional isn’t the same as being vulnurable. I’m sure its fine if most guys express some level of vulnuraility in an emotional crisis, but there is probably a point where it becomes humanly unattractive. I doubt its a specifically female thing – most supposedly specifically female things I find to just be humanly attractive or unattractive social traits – and I think I’d find it offputting if male friend just completely broke down as a result of his mom dying rather than just being normally sad and upset. Romantic relations are so much more intimate so these things may count for more in that context.

  26. Precisely, Cill.

    It’s a subtle change, so perhaps that’s why one has to be friendly with the other person to truly notice it. And it’s not like their scent completely changes, it’s more an overlap or slight alteration…

    I find it strange that scent is such an important part of our memories and thought processes, yet we have no real language to describe various differences. For example, “sad” is an emotion, not a scent, but we have no word for the smell of “sad”. The best I can come up with is that it is an “addition of autumn” in that my love’s scent smells reminiscent of fallen leaves and October rain when he’s upset.

  27. Hey, there you are!

    Just as well I refreshed my browser right then or I wouldn’t have seen ya! I live close to the International Date Line, which means I’m usually out of awake-time-sync with the rest of the world. It’s usually 8+ hours before other people see my comments, or I their’s.

    Welcome to MY daytime, Tarnished et al 🙂

  28. For me, there are no words to describe scent, but “autumn” does ring a faint bell re “sad” (yes, in trying to explain scent, I even bring Sound into it!).

    “Sad” is dry fresh-fallen leaves, clean, an iron bell… and the Autumn air holds a slightly dampening (but not moulding) almost-but-not-exactly-ethereal mist…

    Now I’m frustrated. That description just doesn’t come close! 😦

  29. Thanks for your input, Rob. I’ve heard the same from other foreigners I know…we Americans have much bigger bubbles of personal space than most.

    I myself have a touch phobia due to prior abuses I mention in other posts, but I’m trying to get better. 9 years ago I thought I’d die a virgin…7 years ago I could *just* bring myself to shake hands with a stranger…3 years ago I started accepting hugs from regular customers…and only this past year I’ve actually initiated physical contact with people I don’t know.

    I think I’ll always be hesitant about touch, only because it’s such an inpouring of information (scent, vibrations, “tastes”, body language, heat) that it’s often overwhelming. But I do hope that if even someone like me can reach out to another who’s in need, other people will learn to as well.

  30. No! Sad is Autumn, or chimes, or herbivores ghosting in the woods!

    Sad is not wind! Or maybe it is…
    OMG
    However are we going to adjudicate this one!
    😉

  31. I GOT IT!
    Sad is *taste*, it’s Truffles!
    (or it was until I started to second-guess it again)
    😦

    OK, here’s where I draw the line. Sad is:
    clean
    fresh
    dry leaves
    dampening
    the mist I referred to is more of an unbelievably delicate musk
    faint chimes that *could* be a murmur or chant or distant chorus

    I might have to concede on this one. Wind or whisper now seem to fit better with delicate musk…

    “Herbivores Ghosting”
    Hahahaha!

  32. Oops again. 😳
    “hear” ➡ “here”

    ” And it’s not like their scent completely changes, it’s more an overlap or slight alteration”.
    Exactly. It’s a new scent of Autumn leaves and twigs settled on the familiar, lovable thing. ❤

  33. I consider myself chastised. ( Heheh )

    Do you really have a blog post on scent? I can’t find it.
    (emoticons grudgingly omitted)

  34. It must be late at night in your neck of the woods, while here it’s afternoon and I’m uncharacteristically idle.

    Sleep well! 🐻

    I should admonish myself:
    “Stand not upon the order of your going, but be gone”

    … and I’m gone

  35. @David

    Hi, thanks for stopping by. That’s a pretty interesting story you have. Your gf honestly didn’t notice the salesman touching her? Even if she didn’t care he was doing so, I’m surprised she didn’t just casually note it. If you don’t mind me asking, what kind of touch was it?

    I do not consider you over sensitive for being observant. It’s a good quality to have in my book. Having awareness of others body language and your environment in general is a great trait in various interactions, and gives you an edge on figuring out if others are lying.

    I have always wanted to go to a training seminar about this stuff, but my job doesn’t do things like that. Frankly, I’m kinda confused as to why they are necessary…can’t you just tell employees to treat every client/coworker the same, regardless of physical factors?

  36. “I’d like to get more than 4 hours of rest a night. ”

    If you mean you sleep only 4 hours a night on average, I can only say, shake my hand my mate! For as long as I can remember I’ve slept 2 – 5 hours/night on average. My siblings used to provoke my envy by their heartless ability to sleep. For 8+ hours I would grind my teeth, the sounds of their blissful slumber alighting on my unwilling ears (that’s not entirely true right there, I’m not that much of a nutter!).

    I don’t suffer much from fatigue during the day, except that I go out like a light at the movies, or if I sit down to watch TV.

    It can be amusing, for other people at least. My barber grimaces with mock foreboding when I sit in her chair. She hastily snips at the front of my hair until, after a few seconds, my bonker slumps forward in sleep. She is then left with no option but to do the back of my dome. If there are other customers in waiting, she gets one of them to support my insensible cranium while she finishes the front and top. One old chap, after gently releasing my awakening head, asked kindly “are you all right, mate?”

    A moment like that, a first new experience on awakening, can be powerful. I stood up and hugged him, dear old guy.

  37. Yeah, I must’ve pissed off Morpheus pretty bad in a past life or something. Sleep and I don’t get along very well…

    When I was younger I had night terrors that would wake the entire house. After those went away, I sleep walked til I was about 10. After *that* was done, I had 5 or so years of normal sleep patterns…and promptly got sleep paralysis/seeing “shadow people” when I turned 16. I still deal with that to this day, but it’s gone from once a week to around once every 2 months. It was incredibly scary at first, but then I researched what was really occurring in my brain and just became another weird thing.

    Strangely, I don’t fall asleep at weird times and I’m never get fatigued like that. Often I’ll stay awake till 4am numerous nights (days?) in a row so on the 10th night I’ll finally crash. That’s the only way I can get a full 8 hours of rest. :/

  38. Earlier this year, I read that scientists have discovered the real reason for sleep. The body releases powerful chemicals into the brain to cleanse it. If it happened while we were awake, we wouldn’t be able to cope and we’d be a danger to ourselves and a liability to others. They estimated that if we go for a fortnight without sleep, with not one cleansing of our brains, we will die.

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