While Making The Bed, I Slip Through Space And Time

I slip between the sheets of Time.

While Making The Bed, I Slip Through Space And Time

I am making the bed. This is something I tell myself I must do if I am to have a productive day. I must make the bed because it is a way of telling myself I will not leave things undone. So I shake the quilt of sleep. My skin is on it. The dust that is – was? – my skin seltzers in the morning light, hesitance itself. But, in that moment in which the quilt billows I see that the sheet has come off the mattress. It folds back like the flap of skin that time I was clumsy with the kitchen knife.

I have to deal with it. I reach over and pull the sheet over the mattress. There. But now it has come off the opposite side. And when I pull the opposite side on, the side I'd just fixed comes off. The fury and the mire of human veins.

I decide to start afresh. I push the quilt to the floor and whip the sheet off. More motes dance dustily. I make the sheet dance. I rid it of me. But when I come to tamp it down it will not go. It stays stuck, V-sign to gravity, in mid-air, like some parlour trick.

I am able to get underneath it. I squirm onto the mattress. It is like I am getting into a tent. It seems quite big in here, now that I am inside. The roof – for that is how it appears to me, and I try not to doubt my senses – vaults high above me, soft and purple, gentle and supple night. Nothing winks in the firmament, but there is light here. There is a kind light that wants me to stay; it cups its hand to my chin, possessive.

Now that I am in, I do not know a way out. The sheet seems to have folded itself within space and now there are walls and, unless it's some trick of perspective, a corridor – narrow, but there – leads away from me. On my knees – though there is plenty of space in front of me – I make my way towards it.

It isn't a corridor at all. It is a gap, almost imperceptible. I think, another time, I might have missed it. But this time I have not. I know.

I slip between the sheets of Time.

On the other side, dust motes dance. But no – they are bigger. They are like large tears. They float. Do they defy gravity, or has gravity's weakness finally been exposed? Am I in thrall to it any longer? There is a loosening somewhere about my navel. Inside the tears are people I recognise. People I have not seen for a long time.

I'm approaching one now. A woman. I know who she is. Her face has the placidity of a plaster-saint. She looks at me and through me, but not into me. Of that I'm certain. She warps and bends, like she's in a snowglobe. She turns to the other figure inside the tear. It is me. But I am a little boy. She mouths something. I cannot hear, but I know what it is. Do not grow old, please.

That's enough. I just want to make the bed. Let me make the bed. Or not. I can live within the cocoon of my own ineptitude. I can leave things undone. I float away, past her, upwards. Gravity has no hold on me. I knew it was weak. I knew it. But what will pull me down, now?

Sooner or later, I'll go back, to how things used to be. But here, I'm weightless. I don't feel gravity's pull. I know where I'm headed. I am headed for the absence of light. It's up there, I know. But I'm weightless, just for a little while.