According to Greek Mythology Morpheus is the son of Hypnos, the God of Sleep, meant to bring dreams to people who are enchanted by his father. An imaginary creation of the ancient Greeks in an attempt to explain the workings of the unconscious during sleep time. Of course then came Freud to complicate things even further. But for the purposes of this blog-post let’s stick with ancient Greece. It does sound like a good bedtime story after all, no? Well, nooooo, not in my case!
You see Morpheus waits stoically, like a loyal male version of Penelope, for me to return home. I always find him siting in the same spot, on my bed, with open arms, trying to seduce me in the most tempting hug. ‘No, no, it’s not your time yet,’ I wave my finger at him and walk away. The kitchen is clearly a safer place, I know he is bedroom bound.
Later on though, the lack of furniture in my flat leaves me with no other choice, but to enjoy my dinner and cola sitting right next to him on that very same bed. He tickles me, he caresses me, he whispers lovely lullabies in my ear and stories of the views, I’ll see developing behind my closed eyes. The latter are easily persuaded, abandoning every effort to keep themselves alive. ‘Hey Mister,’ I shout angrily at him, ‘I will not say it a second time. Go back to your corner,’ and I push him away.
I like reading before going to bed and naturally, I like doing that while in bed. Jonathan Coe‘s The House of Sleep, obviously is not the wisest of choices. So before, I even attempt to describe in the same sequence as above my loving relationship with Morpheus,(actually, seeing him with Iris, makes me have second thoughts about ‘loving’) the words have jumped out of the paper and have started dancing, like Indians around the fire in old westerns. I’m on a train, on rail trails made out of inky letters, moving deeper and deeper into my beloved Morpheus’ world and the softness of his arms. Sweet dreams.
I know, I know, he sounds like a nice chap and I’m a heartless bitch who takes pleasure in mistreating him. You should see him in the morning, when he uses all his strength to keep me under the covers, curled up in his sweet enchantment.
But I have learned my lesson now, I throw away the duvet and expose my bare body to the cold of the flat. ‘Ha, ha,’ I laugh at him, ‘look at me, I’m going to the shower now and you’ll be stuck in the bedroom.’ He doesn’t bat an eyelid; he only smirks and his eyes light up. For it is only when I’m under the warm water of the shower running down my hair and the sound of it as it disappears under my wet feet, like an artificial river, that I realise Morpheus has somehow escaped his prison and is now next to me. I yawn as a first sign of his little tricks. ‘You are a naughty, naughty boy and you will pay for it,’ I say in higher than the normal volume and turn the water knob to full cold. ‘Feel the power of my Vanish.’
Of course, I freeze, but I can feel the sticky slime of Morpheus slowly being removed from my body. I am a snake that has just changed skins and the old one is quickly travelling down the drain along with Morpheus. ‘Victory à la Grecque.’
Fully dressed and awake, ‘See you tonight,’ I say to him and close the door behind me. He will be waiting for my return in his usual place.