Even if I tumble in the door at four in the morning (a comparatively rare event, you must agree), I would still have to hit the current book and read for a while before sleep might come.
Usually it happens that I read for awhile and then I start to feel tired and so I put the book away, turn out the light and go to sleep. That’s probably the normal chain-of events for most book-reading-people-of-the-bed, nothing unusual there.
But there’s another way things sometimes go and I wonder if I’m the only one it happens to. Usually it happens when a book is so good that you just don’t want to stop reading, it’s too interesting/exciting, you just want to read on…
But sleep will come, it will not be cheated of its prey. That’s when the odd thing happens – to me at least.
Sleep creeps into the text of the book and/or the text of the book creeps into sleep and suddenly the text I am reading is not the text of the book I am holding but some crazy pre-dream-state literary concoction.
If this just happened for a split second, I could let it pass. But it seems that this can go on for quite some time. I find myself reading, enjoying the words, when suddenly some remnant of consciousness says, “wait, this isn’t the book you’re reading, this is something else.” And, indeed it is something else. Some story with a logic and a sensibility all of its own but not from any printed document that ever existed.
Does this sound mad or do you know what I mean?
It would be much easier to discuss if I could remember anything - anything at all - of this strange text that my book morphs into just as sleep descends. But I can’t. I guess the story is sprinkled with a little of whatever dust gets shaken onto dreams, that gradual but irrevocable self-destruct powder.
And, of course, I may tell you that this mysterious text goes on for quite some time but what do I really know about it? Dream time is amorphic and tenuous at the best of times. This thing I think lasts for minutes may only be a split second aberration of the shutting-down mind.
So, effectively, I’m posting about something I know nothing about.
Not exactly a first, no.
What bugs me about it, what makes me think on it now, is that this phantom text which appears in my book as sleep comes…
…well, it’s quite good, I think.
Maybe it's some book of my creation that it sitting inside my head, one I just haven't written yet. Maybe my mind is giving me a sneak preview as a subliminal encouragement to get on with it.
Maybe I'll never get it written and will only ever see self-destructing passages as consciousness ebbs away.
Maybe I’ll be allowed to read all of it, as I die.