Wednesday, February 28, 2001

I've just finished reading "The House Of Sleep" by Jonathan Coe. What a wonderful book. If you haven't read it, I urge you to do so. It's about a group of students sharing a house. Each of them suffers from a sleep disorder or is obsessed with sleep in one way or another.

The book is so beautifully structured I want to read it again. If only to rediscover the word for the sleep disorder I have: I sometimes have dreams which I cannot distinguish from reality.

For instance, a couple of weeks ago I was telling Ian that I knew someone who was in the film "Traffic". When he asked me who, I became confused. I remembered someone telling me about it, but not who it was. Because it never happened.

Last month I called my friend John just to check what time we were meeting that night. "But we're not meeting tonight," he replied. I was adamant we were. I remembered talking to him on the phone and arranging a meeting. But it was a dream.

Maybe this is one of those phenomena which happen to everyone, but no-one ever talks about. On a related note, last Saturday evening, as I was leaving the pub, I noticed that the streetlight directly outside had a circular rainbow halo around it. I stared at it, fascinated. As I walked down the street, I was amazed to see that all the lights had these rainbows around them, which became smaller yet more distinct the closer I got to them. I wanted to stop people in the street and point them out. But I hesitated. Was it some freak climatic condition unique to that evening? Was it the first signs of glaucoma or cataracts or something? Or what if streetlights always had haloes around them at night? But that, surely, wasn't possible.

It is. They do. How have I never noticed this?

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