August 2008 - What do you think about or do when you can't sleep?
Insomnia happens a great deal in this line of work. So much of what I do occurs, by necessity, at night and yet there is always research and preparation to be done during the daylight hours that it can often wreak complete havoc with a person's circadian rhythms. So, I am not unfamiliar with the situation, and am usually prepared for it.
Most often, I read. Despite their antiquity, the reference books that I've gathered over the years often provide new insights into cases at hand, or refresh my memory so that necessary information can be called upon more quickly and effectively. I am also making new acquisitions all the time, and those must also be read, notes taken and conclusions drawn. In fact, I am currently engrossed in a first edition of Tolbein's Spirit Guide.
Other times, work is the last thing I want to occupy my mind. In that case, a glass of wine and silence will suffice. Friends have called it brooding. I simply consider it a necessary rumination and relaxation.
On occasion in the recent past, though, I have been known to make a phone call to a certain lady friend with similar working hours who is also sometimes afflicted with insomnia. That is perhaps now my favorite sleepless night pastime, and one only a concern for her own ability to sleep prevents me from repeating it more often.
"This only is denied to God: the power to undo the past." -Agathon
Now, we know that's not true, at least in a sense. With a powerful spell anchored to an artifact known as a Window of Orlon, the sorceror Cyvus Vail was able to remake the past according to the designs of Angel and Wolfram and Hart-- or rather, he was able to restructure the memories of nearly every man, woman and child on Earth.
Yes, for the great majority of people, the changes were minor. None of them would remember the entity called Jasmine or the few bittersweet days of utter peace and contentment that she brought to the world, at the horrible price that was paid. But for those of us in Angel's circle, the task was mighty. We were made to forget one of our own family, Angel's son Connor-- forget every trace of his existence.
I was the one who destroyed the illusion, for that was all it was-- an illusion. Connor had lived, had fought against and beside us, had lived a life of anger and frustration and had nearly gone mad.
On sleepless nights, I sometimes wonder what I would do with a Window of Orlon. Would I force myself to forget my life as a Watcher, and insist I have always been the man I am now? Should I erase all trace of the people we've lost, that I've lost? Could I bring myself to undo all that Fred Burkle was, so that I might look upon Illyria as a being unique?
The answer is no. Even with all that power, what is past could only be covered up or forgotten, but never undone.
OOC: These are canon and fanon-based responses.