There are neurotics such and you and me and the guy in the back seat of the bus who keeps blowing his nose. And then there are the Great Neurotics. From all walks of life they come, these Great Neurotics, from history and fiction and the entertainment arts they emerge, marching together, out of step, absorbed in their own thoughts, and in the way the breeze plays through their hair.
Here is today’s entry in this dubious gallery:
After serving tirelessly on battlefields all over the Empire, Florence Nightingale turned the tables at age 40 and became a voluntary invalid. For six years she insisted upon being carried from place to place and for the most part she was content to stay in bed. Following a period of partial recovery, she, at age 52, decided she was dying and requested permission to live as a patient in London’s St. Thomas Hospital until she did so. Since there was nothing particularly wrong with her (fainting spells, extreme weakness), she was dissuaded from her plan. She lived another 40 years.