I pretty much fall asleep everywhere I go these days. Standing up on the metro, I bury my face in my sleeve, and sleep like one of those horses who can do it without lying down. Sitting down on the metro, I rest my head on The Man’s shoulder, and literally a minute and a half later he has to nudge me awake as we reach our destination. I fall asleep on the bus stop while waiting for Gmail to load on my phone. I fall asleep during the 20-second trip on the elevator. At work, I put my head down next to the keyboard in a joking manner, just to show everyone how tired I am – and then I fall asleep. “Young woman, are you sleeping?” Someone asks me in line at the bakery, and I answer truthfully, “Yes.” I’m not even awake enough to register embarrassment. I catch myself beginning to nod off as I stand on the escalator. Friends prefer booths in restaurants – but I know what’s coming; give me a seat comfortable enough, and my eyes will start closing by themselves before anyone even brings me my soup. “Am I boring you?” A colleague asks me when I start to make myself comfortable against the glass display case in the lunch line, just as he’s getting to the climax of that one funny story this one dude at Interfax told him.
If I sleep, then it follows that I also dream. Dreams on the metro are all work-related. Dreams in restaurants are fuzzy and disordered, November-coloured, blackberry-flavoured. The same evening from my childhood gets recycled – going to see my aunt sing in “The Marriage of Figaro” in Kiev in an autumn not unlike this one, the ground full of puddles and the sky full of clouds and stars, and me full of anticipation. People who have died a long time ago walk with me through these dreams – and we part ways, always, at the same street corner.
I dream that St. Vladimir has swept the stars off one of the domes at the Kiev Pechersk Lavra, and shook them out of his sleeve at a table in front of me, and said, “pick one that looks back at you.”
Other people dream about me. My father visited my cousin at the hospital, and my aunt pulled him aside and said – “I had a dream about Natasha. She was so happy. What’s going on with her?”
What is going on with me? I can’t begin to say.