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Stories Told Halfway

Stories Told Halfway

When I was sick I slept all day, in the shifting patch of sun on my bed. I woke up after fourteen hours and I saw that I had taken Sleep into me. And I thought, I understand why they called Sleep a god, why they gave him a face. If you sleep long enough, you let him in. You can feel the way he lifts your limbs and lets them fall again till they learn to hang, loosely, just so. You can feel the way his hands push down on the back of your neck, gently, and the lazy halo he brushes over the crown of your head with his fingers. You can understand why today he likes Sun, who paints a quiet coat of warmth onto your faded yellow sheets. You can feel him blink and stretch and curl up softly and let Sun paint him golden. And you can also understand why mostly he likes Night, who comes more quietly, dressed in cool gowns, trailing her nets and nets of stars to trap him in. You can see through his eyes, when you have just woken. Things come into your understanding slowly and you are content to know them only halfway. You do not struggle for meaning. You can see how he blurs shapes into roundness. You can see how he breathes out quiet through you where you go, and you know he is there in the sleepy tilt of your head. And the people around you, when you have just woken, will see Sleep smiling in the lazy lines of your walk.

This is Nick's favorite dream: He was being chased. He was all fear. He ran until he started to run on four legs. He felt the spring and the power and the motion that is a wolf running. It was daytime, morning. He followed a rough trail that wove through the woods. He ran and it was not strange. He did not even stop to think, I am a wolf. Only he was. The trail turned cleaner, shafts of new white light urging him on to the east. He was not feeling afraid anymore. He hadn't for a long time. The chase fell away and he was just running, all motion and speed. He came to a place deep in the forest where the trees were narrow and dense.

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