TE19 Iberian Adventure

Two Pieces


What do we mean to dreams? Herberto Helder

All animals sleep.

This is the rule to which there can be no exception.

Horses sleep standing up. Seals, Humboldt penguins and ducks all sleep with one eye open. Bottlenose dolphins and beluga whales rest half their brain at a time; sea otters sleep intertwined with one another, floating along camouflaged by seaweed; giraffes take a series of ten minute naps amounting to a total of half an hour a day; bats and porcupines can sleep for twenty hours straight; and I haven’t been able to sleep since you died. Lab rats die after two to three weeks of sleep deprivation. A sheep quickly wastes away if not permitted to dream, and yet somehow, I’m managing to put up with the weight loss, the changes in the tone of my voice, the growing paranoia, the hallucinations and the constant humming in my head. I’ve tried everything. Heavy meals, ambient music, narcotics, herbal teas, cold showers, and every kind of mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion. It’s not really possible to experience being asleep. But I do know what not being awake feels like. I’m incapable of making decisions, I don’t recognise my friends’ faces, I don’t return missed calls. I’m a sleepless soldier, lost 55

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