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The Sun Magazine

Body and Mind

Sleep

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Learning To Sleep

You’re not really exhausted until the hallucinations start: Droplets of mercury floated in my peripheral vision. A lemon levitated out of the fruit bowl. A streetlight at the corner of State and Garfield laid its long body down on the sidewalk. The cat looked up at me from the corner of my desk, twitched his muzzle, and said, “Libby, Libby, Libby.”

Fiction

His Mrs. K

She sits in the kitchen with coffee and a view of the soft rain. This is her early-morning time alone and always the best part of the day, before he awakens and she must adjust to his moods, his needs. This, her hour of resolve — not to do anything in particular, but only to bear on through the morning.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Four Beds

I turn off the lamp and ease myself into the hand’s-breadth space between Rob and the wall. In the dark he places my fingers on the supple frets of his ribs, showing me simple chord changes. He murmurs throaty Gaelic into my ear, and I rub his stomach as if he were a sleepy child. We fold against each other like the pages of a letter.

Sy Safransky's Notebook

November 2008

No matter who’s elected president, writers will write. Painters will paint. Three in the morning will still be three in the morning. The door in our psyche we don’t want to walk through will still be just down the hall. No matter who’s elected president, life will hand us the invisible thread that connects us all; love will hand us the needle.

Photography

Into Silence

Over the course of two years I photographed my grandmother Marjorie Clarke on my weekly visits to her home in rural Butler, Maryland. With her health declining and Alzheimer’s disease loosening her ties to everyday reality, I spent much of my time reading aloud or singing songs to her, attempting to hold her attention as long as possible.