Jumping from the moon

I have a recurring nightmare.

My suspicion is that I read this in a story, once. A man jumps from the moon. He is ridiculous and unsympathetic. In the dream I am angry about how the author misunderstood the nature of cats, their gratitude is a rare gift and it takes a lot to make a cat feel that they should enable you to leap in this way.

In the dream I am the idiot man who does not deserve to jump safely from the moon. In the dream I am also myself, and I hope, desperately, that if I can jump from the moon I will be safe. Then I fall, and fall as though it will go on forever, and I wake with a violent jolt to find myself back on this island after all.

I invariably wake up on the roof, as though I have indeed jumped down from the sky to a relatively safe landing. Albeit a cold one. I sleep in my trousers now, for it is an undignified thing to have to climb off one’s roof wearing only one’s nightshirt. Also cold. I am always so cold when I wake up from these dreams, as though I have fallen many miles through the relentless dark of the night sky. I imagine that space must be cold, the starlight is not warm, after all.

Tonight I shall go to sleep in my coat, and beg the cats to let me stay. I cannot jump from the moon to some other place, it seems, but perhaps the moon would not be so fearful a place as this island. Could that be true? Or is waking here but a dream that shields me from a worse truth? If this is my happy escape from horror, then I curse my own mind for not being able to invent more comforting things.

Whatever the truth of it, I am most assuredly damned.


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