Letters from the half-sleep

My name is Sara, 

I am a woman
I have been married for two years

I have been a mother for three years

I have been alive for 46 years

and in therapy for one.


Only one year, nothing compared to an entire existence. However my doctor is worried: he says he has never seen a case like mine. “Writing will heal it” he told me. And I write, someone might read it one day.

It happened in the morning: I opened my eyes and I found a letter on the bedside table. Since then I receive one every morning when I wake up. Handwritten messages from a man to a woman, with no name on it and poor grammar. I recognise my handwriting. Yes, I rapidly jot them on paper as if I cast an anchor when I am about to fall in the sea of sleep. They resemble whispered messages between half-asleep lovers although, in my case, I am my own lover. My lover is the other me. His name is Andrea and he comes to life when I close my eyes and I am about to collapse into my sleep.

The majority of us read in bed, before falling asleep, as a way of spicing up their dreams. On the contrary, my letters are meant to be read when waking up. Every letter is a call. But I guess the same applies to every gesture of love, doesn’it? Like a humpback whale, Andrea entrusts his songs leagues under the sea, receiving back nothing but his echo.

“Schizophrenia” said the doctor, concise and to the point. They reason? “My small embolism”, I replied thinking it was funny. A mistake during a scuba diving session and a small air bubble got stuck in my brain. You can call it as you wish, I don’t care what it is. Sometimes understanding is of no use, if you are not able to feel.

The feelings from that accident are still very much vivid. At some point everything disappeared; leaving only a sense of peace behind. The sea was now the sky, the horizon was capsized and I felt I could fly. It was a fixed image in my six years long coma.

Sometimes at night, when I close my eyes, I can still hear the backwash which persistently digs in the dark. As persistently as they called my name every day during those years made of forgotten dreams which split my life in two identical halves, both twenty years long. Sa ra... a breath, a tide. Sa ra... every syllable was a grain of sand that slipped away under my body rested on the water edge. Sa ra... out of my hourglass, to fill Andrea’s, my lonely ‘other’.

Since then we are balacing, as the night and the day, as the sky and the sea, upside down and united, as it was in the accident. We empty and fill one another, each a sheet on the other.

It was supposed to last forever.

But now I am here, trying to recover and to leave him behind. They say that if I don’t do it I will die.

Some time ago my heartbeats inverted; at first my heart started to beat unregularly until my heartbeats halved. I kept the secret for a long time, but I know that now everyone can see it and they worked out that this process started exactly when I had the embolism. Now they wonder if I will die or if I will become immortal. They wonder if, perhaps, my letters from the half-sleep come from an alternative dimension which I manage to communicate with thanks to my cardic problem. They wonder if my heartbeat is not completely gone but if it instead went lost somewhere in one of the spacetime bends.


I do know that none of them is right.

I know my name is Sara

I am a woman

I am forty-six years old

I have been married for two

I have been a mother for three years

I have been in therapy for one

and in love with a man’s heart for thirty-six.

This is same heart that stopped beating twenty-six years and one day ago,

only one minute before mine started to beat out of time.