…to live with a light sleeper with extra-sensitive hearing, a woman who can be woken up by damn near anything. And who chews you out when this happens.

Sleeping modes differ, of course. Some (like me) sink to the bottom of the pond and can’t be aroused by anything less than a 7.0 earthquake, and others (like the CEO of Tatiana, Ltd.) float on the surface of the pond. And I’m telling you that the slightest little piddly-tinkly-twinkly noise…a fork falling off a plate onto our glass-top coffee table, the accidental dropping of an iPhone battery, the mere snapping of a twig…wakes her up, and when that happens it’s like getting reamed out by Vladimir Putin.

I like to watch an old film to settle down with, and I always do so with wireless headphones. My movie time starts when Tatiana dozes off, around 10:30 or 11 pm. From that point on it’s “observe Moscow Rules or die.” If I want to get up for anything (a bottle of water, an ice pop, feed the cats) I’m careful to step extra-gently without shoes and only on the balls of my feet…I’m an angel walking on cotton balls. But that’s not good enough for General Strelnikov because if I walk on top of certain sections of wooden floor a slight groaning or creaking sound results…”you woke me uhhhp!!”

My name is Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and I live in the Gulag Archipelago.