The Atlantic goes Inside the disquieting lives of five people who struggle with sleep in the city that never does.

On the corner of 45th and Broadway, during his lunch break, Grey Becker abruptly fell to the street, limbs flailing uncontrollably. In an attempt to remove him from oncoming traffic, a woman tried to pull Becker onto the curb. Unable to bear the dead weight of his 220-pound body, she repeatedly lifted and dropped him. Becker felt a dull snap when she dragged his side over the curb. Finally, the woman gave up.

“Just leave him. He’s drunk,” said her male companion. The couple crossed the street, abandoning Becker, who was fully conscious, yet devoid of motor control. He knew from previous episodes that if he tried to stand up prematurely, he would collapse again.