Where do I go in sleep?

I am lying in the warm bed, waiting for sleep. I can’t keep my eyes closed. The orange sIMG_1791lash of hallway light rims the door like a bracket; the sound of night-street noises grates and groans just outside the high window. What do heavy trucks do at night in a quiet neighborhood, except act as the sonorous continuity between a specious reality of near-consciousness and the thin dreamstate that replaces it, tired of itself already, raging to get back to the rippling surface?

I swim back up to this layer of awareness, that holds me just under like the sinuous drape of a sheet over a dead body. Sleep. Can you be half-in, half-out of this psychophysical state? Is this place analog or digital, continuous or sudden, a break, a shut-down, a closed book?

It doesn’t take much to summon me from one side of the abyss to the other. I float over it, a ghost, leaving my body behind. The truck becomes a windstorm. The house becomes a labyrinth. My hands become paddles, the sea surges up to meet me, and no explanation is needed: all scenarios and reasons and motivations co-exist, an unfolding multiverse of alternate realities impinging one on the other and pleating silently, if urgently, into each other.

Yet there I lie, a lifeless body, a flop of warm meat waiting. Am I in or am I out? Where is the “I” who knows the difference?