Sleep

One can tell a lot about a person, at any given time of their life, from how they sleep: how hard or easy falling asleep is for them; whether they can sleep anywhere or only at home; the postures in which they sleep; how they awake, and how quickly they rise — quite apart from their own statements, let alone the content of their dreams. For some people falling asleep is a welcome respite from tiredness or discomfort, for others it’s a nightly grapple with separation, with death. How much, for example, can lovers not tell about each other from their behaviour before, during and after sleep? I never told you the thoughts I had when, after we’d made love, unable to sleep as I knew I would be in that unfamiliar room, with this still unfamiliar woman beside me, I looked at you sleeping so prettily, your mouth slightly open, your face trusting sleep. I never told you I didn’t sleep that night. I’ve never told you that not a day has passed since then that I haven’t seen your sleeping face in my mind every time I try to fall asleep. Sometimes sleep, when it comes, is a relief, sometimes it’s an enemy that takes my precious image away and replaces it with random ones; and always, when I awake, after I’ve turned in bed all night, your face is clearer to me than ever, and I never want to get up but stay in this dream forever.

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