The Terror of the Mirror

DP: Mr Sandman – The Terror of the Mirror

Methought I heard a voice cry, “Sleep no more!

Macbeth does murder sleep”—the innocent sleep,

Sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care,

The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath,

Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,

Chief nourisher in life’s feast.

Macbeth 2:2

I am a careful chatelaine. Each door is pulled shut and locked before another opened. I step lightly from moment to moment, each diligently separate, never meeting myself on the way in or out. Masks and costumes hung on the hook inside each door.

If I keep you in a room you do not know me.

Sleep is my enemy. She steals the keys and leaves the doors wide open. The scents of separate lives, cheap coffee, starch, stale cigarettes, Baldessarini blend unbalanced.

Tales told in each domain dance a Viennese waltz, eyes searching behind the masks for lies and truths and hints of what the whole might be.

The friend of my enemy is my enemy. Sleep sets all the small parts free. Somewhere in the puzzle there is me. And so I fear to sleep and sleep in fear. Not falling to the welcome clasp of pillows but captured and manhandled by exhaustion, body fallen at odd angles.

For all my great to success to keep them all apart, in sleep the parts of me can coalesce unchecked and untamed until in that dim corridor, lamps turned low in deference to the hour, I see a shadow solidify, blank face accumulate expression, and I beg the sun to rise before the animation can complete.


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