Sleep

It is the night of weeks like this that I long for sleep.  For the kind of sleep that is dark, warm, a kind of death from which I can awake in the morning having enjoyed the oblivion of not-being.  As I leave Samara to sleep she tells me “I am not happy being in here by myself.”  So I read Pessoa to her as she falls asleep:

Anyone wanting to make a catalogue of monsters would need only to photograph in words the things that night brings to somnolent souls who cannot sleep.

He is right, it is the tired man who wants to sleep, but either finds himself awake in the dark silence, or asleep consumed by the monsters of nightmares.  Sometimes I cannot decide which to choose—as if it were my choice.  Last night I dreamt, but I dreamt of a sculpture by Rodin.  The man in the sculpture has his head down and he is being mobbed by bodies, flowing robes and anguish.  He is being torn by the demons.  I imagine, in my dream, the sculpture come alive.  What is in waking life a beautiful if melancholy statue comes awake and becomes terrifying.  The wailing, the anger, the desire for relief.  The need for the darkness of sleep.  I awake and find myself consumed by the images, not sure whether to try to sleep or to get up and sit like I do some nights, in the kitchen looking up at the sky through the window. 

Samara’s breathing is slowing down and becoming rhythmical.  That delicious feeling of sinking into the dark, like into warm mud.  I keep reading Pessoa, now for me more than for her:

I would be happy if only I could sleep.  At least that’s what I think now when I can’t sleep.  The night is an immense weight pressing down on my dream of suffocating myself beneath the silent blanket.  I have indigestion of the soul.

She sleeps, the sleep of a child.  At least that what it seems to me now.  But I remember sleeping at her age and the terrors of sleep even then.  The dreams of being abandoned, of the monsters closing in with no one to save me.  I wake now with my dreams of monsters, wishing I had a bed to run to, with stronger and bigger people who love me and soothe me as I fall asleep under the warmth of their comfort.  But I am now the bed to run to, the giver of solace who himself begs for rest.

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