Often, on the brim of waking, I have an odd vision. My room has a low ceiling,
but now it is so low it is like a canopy, touching my face. The door is
farther away. I see that the door opens slightly,
like a lip parting open to show teeth.
A hand pushes it open and I watch myself enter the room. I am not too surprised.
I have seen myself before, in the mirror, have seen myself moving---but
always the eyes are fixed on me. Here, I am looking away, unaware, curious.
I stand in the center of the room, and, from the bed, scrutinize myself.
Defamiliarizing, distancing. The eyes, the lips, the nose---taken separately,
rearranged. We frown and then straighten our faces into a polite look of
detachment. I wait to hear my voice. Nothing. I walk to my bed and we embrace
without kissing. We handle each other curiously, eyes half-closed,
ashamed, as if there is a mirror in front of us, telling us our blemishes,
our moles in the grey light. Later, I think that I am satisfied, gently
I burrow my face in my hair and murmur something.
I am glad it is winter outside.
Warmed, I fall asleep like this, wanting no one else, lacking nothing.
I imagine days, simply lying in bed with myself, weakened by some luxurious
flu. Unable to get up and eat, crawling to the toilet and back again,
drinking the water from the tap, water that numbs the mouth because the
pipes are nearly frozen. Growing thinner until we simply fold into one
cough lost in the vast pleats of the bed-- that is how it would end.
But as soon as I move, I am alone again. I have dislodged the warmth lying
near my skin, utterly. A cold cup of water is on the floor.
What have I done?
How do I return?
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