The woman in the dream

Last night I was falling asleep. I was in that period between wake and sleep where time goes fast — you may look at the clock and it is eleven, and the next moment it is fifteen minutes later.

A woman with big eyes and a big, smiling, but closed mouth was looking at me. Close, just inches away from my face. Her face was round and full without being fat, her eyes were black.

I was looking at her with my mostly closed eyes, seeing her without any features being distinct. Time passed and I was still there, and she didn’t move.

I felt the realization later, but the woman does not look like anyone I know. She looked vaguely oriental — but her skin was fairer than a south-east Asian’s, and her features less distinct than a Chinese. Her lips were naturally red, but not overly so, and her eyes were black without being deep. Nor, and again I realized this later, was there a reason for her just to be there. Or just to smile.

She was not heavy. I felt no weight from her. I got the impression she was sitting somewhere on the bed, probably to the left of my knees.

Time passed. And that is what wass strange: nothing changed. She remained there, smiling her closed-mouth, big-eyed smile.

I got up to try identify her and I felt and saw my eyelids open while I was still seeing her. Then in that instant I didn’t.

My first thought, or maybe my second, was that she looked a lot scarier than I thought just a second ago. But none of her features were scary: no sharp eyes, no teeth, no grimace, no coldness. Only the smile, still but not frozen.

The room was darker than it had been a second before, too. Seeing her, I had the impression that a weak but warm light bulb was on somewhere on the other side. Then awake, the room was of course black: lit only by the odd electronic light, and the street lamp outside.

But seeing her at the time, I did not feel peaceful, or scared, or relieved, or frightful. Only, and I guess this is why I woke up, just every so more tired at the effort of not closing my eyelids in social obligation not to fall asleep while someone was looking.

I think the same thing may have happened later that night, but that may only have been a memory of the dream.