Tokyo. That was an incessant city. London was indefatigable. Sydney is bursting. Sleep is a similar city. To sleep is to try and traverse the main street of all of these cities on a weekend, a holiday weekend before an event that requires all to do extra curricula shopping, also it is a beautiful day, the first after winter, and there is a parade.
Sleep is never a straight and empty road in a featureless land. Sleep is not windless water. Sleep is not rest.
I am not haunted. My dreams are not nightmares, shames, guilts, fears or secrets. They are only dreams of living libraries, water suits, rollerblading on uneven paving and leaping from high platforms because gravity is for other people. They are only dreams.
There are always dreams.
Always running. Always negotiating. Always solving. Always seeking.
And then I wake.
Such a simple word; wake. A single syllable. Staccato. Wake. To open your eyes is as long as that syllable. As if the crossing from one state to another were such a small, easy thing.
Is it? Perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps I am doing it wrong. It's likely that for most of you it is.
In the city of Sleep I am so many other people. I live so many lives, with so many other faces and furies. My agendas are diverse and legion. To wake is not to wake. To wake is to stop being these other people, stop pursuing their goals and fighting their circumstances. To wake is to suddenly and abruptly become me.
Bewildered. Confused. Untethered.
I do not go to sleep; I go away.
I do not wake; I come back.
And between those two points of transformation, I do not exist at all.