Sleep Fictions: A Digital Companion

II.XIII.5 Mirth

Just before her consumption of the deadly dose, Lily knows herself to be on the cusp of life and death. For Lily, a “lifeless universe” is the only place to which she may go if she wants to escape the incessant inertia of modernity. Just as electricity never ceases to power the lights and clocks of urban transit systems, Lily views her continued existence as a never-ending propulsion through time and space:

“She felt so profoundly tired that she thought she must fall asleep at once; but as soon as she had lain down every nerve started once more into separate wakefulness. It was as though a great blaze of electric light had been turned on in her head, and her poor little anguished self shrank and cowered in it, without knowing where to take refuge."

 The only way for Lily to cut power to her mind’s interminable “blaze,” is for Lily is to plunge herself past the “brink of the unreal" and cease to exist. 

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