Sleeping and Waking

At night, she thought about death, but in the morning, when she had at last shaken off the coiling fingers of teasing dreams and nightmares, she remembered life. At night, nothing would appease her, but in the morning, she would look outside the window and see a seagull pecking busily at bags of overflowing trash, and that by itself would vanquish death, would belittle it till it seemed as real as the monsters children believe hide in their closets at night. But she had never feared monsters; but from a young age, she had feared mortality. At five years old, she had stepped outside on her cold balcony, in a night still but for the echoes of faraway motorcycles, and stared out into the deep everything that lay before her, and realised how much of it there was and how little of her there was to take it all in. But in the mornings, she would laugh at the ignorant, cawing seagulls, and feel thrilled to step outside onto the warm summer streets, to have even one day of existence.