He woke with the same spiralling anxious thoughts that he would die today, he would have a terrible accident of some sort and he would die. The fact that he’d had this series of thoughts for many years and each day proved it wrong seemed to make no difference. He still had the thoughts. Sometimes they were accompanied by mental images of his death. The severing of his head seemed to feature quite often, as did being crushed by a speeding truck. More unusual recent examples were being catapulted into the air and landing on a spike, being electrocuted by pissing on a power supply and, his least favourite, nailed down to a wooden floor and eaten alive slowly, by crows and rats. This morning was the second time he’d had this thought in the past few months and an additional worrying thought that now joined the others circulating around his overworked brain, was that maybe this would become a new regular. Generally the thoughts came as he awoke, they followed him from the bedroom to the bathroom to the kitchen, paused for a moment when he drank his coffee, then resumed at full intensity for the rest of the day until he went to sleep. Sleep for him was a beautiful wondrous thing. In his sleep he dreamt of not dying, of living a happy easy normal life, occasionally even doing amazing things: eating in fine restaurants, talking to girls and once, touching a breast. This fantasy world was available to him whenever he slept so obviously, he tried to sleep as much as possible. He had every brand of sleeping tablet known to man and he drank enormous quantities of alcohol every day of the week. It was getting harder to get to sleep though and he had started waking earlier and earlier. His cunning plan this morning was to start a new exercise regime. He was incredibly unhealthy having spent most of his life indoors and most of the last 20 years drinking excessively. The advantage of being so unfit, he figured, was that exercise would exhaust him and he would sleep more – it couldn’t fail.

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