I have insomnia.
Anyway, about a year back- October 2006, I think, I had an extreme bout, and went without sleep for five days.
By the end of the fourth day, I was an emotional wreck, and I'd started to see and hear things that weren't there- spots of colors and a horrific ringing in my ears. I'd even collapsed in school a few times. Walking straight was difficult, and I was crying a lot because I was so frustrated.
Anywho, this wouldn't have been a big problem, but I was going to go on a trip to Pocatello in southern Idaho for a once in a lifetime chance to work with Weston Noble, a renowned choral director.
So my doctor prescribed me Ambiem for the trip.
I slept like a log that night.

My chorus left in the morning on a bus, traveling about 300 miles south, then southeast, to Pocatello.

Now here is where I must interject.

My chorus had about fifty members, and about 20-30 went to Pocatello. Amongst those who went were several of my closest friends. I'll give them fake names.

The first friend is known as Kyogou, or Author 1, and is my co-author for the Naruto Musical series (I'm Author 2). She has some mental issues, most of which stem from her weirdass parents. She's afraid of the dark, for one, and can't watch scary or gory movies without getting seriously freaked out. To put it bluntly, she's a chicken.

The second friend is Jay, another girl. Jay has a very bad case of psychosis. She can't stand physical contact with anyone but her closest friends, and very little from them. She sleepwalks, has terrible recurring nightmares which she talks about in her sleep, is convinced that there is a group of people out to get her, and she's obsessed with sharp objects... a winning combo.

We three were to share a hotel room. Because of Jay's sleepwalking, she opted to sleep on the floor, and we put a chair in front of the door to keep her from getting out. Jay and I also made sure there were no sharp objects around that she might accidentally get in her sleep. This was not important just for our safety; we were forbidden to leave our rooms after 10-11.

That night, I took my Ambiem and waited for it to work its magic. Kyogou fell asleep instantly, as did Jay. And that was the first night I realized just how severe Jay's issues were. She spoke and muttered, whimpered and moaned in her sleep, like she was in some prison and the other inmates were being tortured and killed. She told me that she escaped... she told me a lot of things. I fell asleep wanting to know more.

The next morning, I pulled Kyogou aside and told her what had happened. She got very interested and resolved to stay up and listen with me that night.

It was one of the worst decisions she could have made...
Because the next night, Jay did more than talking.

As before, I took my Ambiem, and Kyogou and I pretended to sleep so we could listen.
And the talking started, as I predicted it would. Not only did she repeat last night's events, telling of the institution, of the deaths, but she told of suicide and hiding, running and killing.
Within minutes Kyogou was sobbing into her pillow in terror.

I, on the other hand, became intrigued, and on a whim, started asking Jay questions. She answered me for a little while, but then struck out at me suddenly. Kyogou screamed and curled up, wailing at me and telling me to stop. So I did, and she crawled into my bed.
But Jay was active now. By this time, the Ambiem was starting to take over me, but I knew I couldn't sleep until Jay was peaceable again, and Kyogou had calmed down.

Unfortunately, that was not to be.

After hitting me, Jay's mutterings increased in volume and held a greater note of rage than they ever did before, and without warning, she stood up.

I don't even know how it happened, but the next thing I knew I was alone in the room with Jay and the door to our room was swinging wildly, light streaming across my face, blinding me at random intervals. I heard Jay stumbling around, then a thump. Water started running.
And then Jay started talking to me.

"Huh? Wha?" she said.

At this point the Ambiem had long since been trying to knock me out. I tried to stand and the whole world spun.

Jay appeared in front of me, blinking like an owl.
"Wazzat?" she slurred. "Wha's going on? Why'm I wet? My hand hurts..."

Somehow, she'd stumbled into the sink area and turned on the faucet, then smacked her hand against the mirror, which woke her up.

I would have laughed- I'd laughed in the beginning when Kyogou started getting jumpy- but at this point I could barely see. It was like being underwater while trying to drink juice.

Kyogou's mom and our choral teacher showed up demanding an explanation, and I managed to spout something out to get them to go away. Kyogou didn't come back, which amused Jay and me to no end. We both had to hold back from teasing her about the whole thing.

When I thought back on it, though, it could have gone very badly. Jay could have broken that mirror and, in her confusion, attacked us. She had also confided to me that she'd had two knives with her, at the bottom of her pack. I shudder to think what might have happened if she'd gotten them out before striking at me. But upon further reflection, I know what would have happened.

So later, I talked to Kyogou about it. I told her that I'd never had many friends, but the few I have had and do have are more important to me than my own well-being. I told her that if it had come down to it, I would have protected both her and Jay, even if it meant getting a little cut up.

I've thought about it a lot. What bothers me the most is that my friends don't trust me like I trust them. Jay was very upset when she learned she'd hit me, even though it was my fault for provoking her. Kyogou did not trust me to do as I'd told her I would do if worst came to worst and forcibly wake Jay up. Even after a year has gone by, very little has changed.

Or at least I thought so. Upon further reflection, I realized just how wrong I was.

Because of my efforts, Jay now talks more openly to us.

Because of my persistence, Kyogou will now go outside with me in the dead of night to hang out in the park.

These people have shown me more trust than they have to most people in their lives, and I treasure that trust so dearly that to me, it nullifies my friends' negative aspects, knives and all.

And to top it all off, I got to meet Weston Noble. smile-big

It was one of the most interesting weekends of my life.