Less than 30 minutes

October 16, 1962

It’s the middle of the night and I’ve awakened in a cold sweat. I had this dream that our generals broke into the oval office and told me that they had taken charge, and launched a disarming first strike at the Soviet Union. They told me that in less than 30 minutes, the Soviet Union would no longer exist. I screamed at them: “and thirty minutes after that, we will begin to die of radiation poisoning, you morons!” That’s when I woke up.

It’s now 5:00 AM, and I can’t get back to sleep.