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.
Everyone carries a room about inside him. This fact can even be proved by means of the sense of hearing. If someone walks fast and one pricks up one's ears and listens, say in the night, when everything round about is quiet, one hears, for instance, the rattling of a mirror not quite firmly fastened to the wall.
Notes for a fragmentary novel entitled The Moment, linked at the top of the page.
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