Thursday, January 7, 2016

Sleep Speak

When I was little my father used to speak Russian in his sleep.  My great grandmother never learned to speak English so he and his siblings had to learn Russian in order to communicate with her.  After she died, he had little need for the language and his grasp of it all but vanished... save for when he slept.

My brother and I would creep close to the bed like knights besides a slumbering giant- desperate to observe but petrified of waking him.  My father's chest would heave up and down as he snored and we'd hold our breath waiting for the words to come.  Knowing absolutely nothing of Russian we had no idea what we were hearing but it was magic all the same.

A secret language- one that even my father himself could not speak or understand- coming from his mouth in pieces and fragments.  Stories and memories and an entire history murmured through a slack mouth.  It was like watching one of the fairy tales coming true in front of our eyes.

I used to wait for the next piece- for some magical character he'd inadvertently summoned to appear, or for some spell to seize us in its power.  And even though all that would happen was my mother shuffling us out of the room to let my father sleep in peace my mind would still race with the possibilities.

I could use that kind of magic in my life.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. That's an amazing story! It's crazy what our subconscious minds remember while the rest of us lets it slip away.


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