Sunday, April 10, 2011

and she has gone away

my wife, my mary, goes to her sleep the way you would close the door of a closet. so many times i have watched her with envy. her lovely body squirms a moment as though she fitted herself into a cocoon. she sighs once and at the end of it her eyes close and her lips, untroubled, fall into that wise and remote smile of the ancient greek gods. she smiles all night in her sleep, her breath purrs in her throat, not a snore, a kitten's purr. for a moment her temperature leaps up so that i can feel the glow of it beside me in the bed, then drops and she has gone away. i don't know where. she says she does not dream. she must, of course. that simply means that her dreams do not trouble her, or trouble her so much that she forgets them before awakening. she loves to sleep and sleep welcomes her. i wish it were so with me. i fight off sleep, at the same time craving it.

-john steinbeck, the winter of our discontent

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