Sleep Fictions: A Digital Companion

I.XIII.2 Mirth

As Lily flees Gus Trenor in an anxiety-ridden flight, her body produces adrenaline, which gives her a moment of "immediate lucidity." In its after-effects, she suffers from a vivid sense of mental wakefulness that conflicts with her adrenaline-depleted body and quickly anticipates a fearsome night-time of sleeplessness. After her escape, Lily presents a range of symptoms classified in modern medicine as "hypnagogia," defined as "The transition from a relaxed to a drowsy state of mind [that] is often accompanied by hypnagogic experiences: most commonly, perceptual imagery."--See this article for more about hypnagogia.*

Upon entering the street-cab, Lily enters state of wakeful sleepiness that causes olfactory hallucinations. With her head resting against the cab door, Lily seems to enter a semi-dreaming state which is symptomatic of sleep-deprivation. She hears clanging Fury wings and feels the “slow cold drip of the minutes on her head" as she anticipates a night of fitful wakefulness.


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