The more you sleep

The more you sleep through the less you repeat. The soft flash of colourless silver impossibly outside the bedroom, outside the tangled city, illuminates the translucent plastic blinds after an interminable swelling in the sky. It rises over the sheets and walls to fill the room with imperceptible light. You would have watched it before with the ceaseless attention of the hidden, the fugitive. It washes over your pale eyelids. It lingers long, that predawn awareness. Routines begin in the partial light. You are impatient for the beginning to instigate the crawl to the end. There are so many ends. The bland rising rays fall high through the blinds drawing few lines high across the opposite wall. Slowly the shadow of the brick wall outside the window sinks. More bars of light appear and grow in intensity. They lose their golden pallour. Each line increasing in brightness expands and consumes the next growing imperceptibly into a single inescapable day. When late sleep is foiled by hot anxiety and you have blinked with avoidance into the day the day goes on in blinking still moments. It is the same day. It moves too quickly because it never began. You hide in the pauses between attentive flashes. Days fall apart.

When you have passed through so many of them your days play out similarly. You fight sleep early, wide awake in the dark. You have seen it all. The day before laid out in square steps, interlocking with places and fitting only them, straight through into the night, before you have even gained consciousness, you fall into the day after, into those places you have already left. You cannot see the origin of the action, only the place and your mechanical hands on a smooth and cold table worn to a fogged mirror finish beneath your forearms. You cannot see the place, its detail, sunlight growing and receding across the floors, only the square table and your hands. You try to sleep through the long slow sunrise to evade its traps. In the first rays of the sun, creeping into the lashes of your closed eyes, are luminous images, reflected in still pools, askew medicine cabinets, and blank windows across the daylit world, of your eyes opening, your hands absently moving, and your back hunched over and turning slowly against the sun, before, again, a claim on the day from the decisions made long before the day before, from a forgotten coerced commitment, locks you into the rigid ebb back toward that rote day at the table. You keep your eyes closed. The sun sweats you out.

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