Wednesday 2nd - later

Wednesday 2nd - later

I was woken at about 4 in the morning, though I didn’t check the time until later, by somebody knocking loudly on the door. To my chagrin (and there is a word which does not get enough use these days), I had fallen asleep at my new desk. Excited to start writing in these beautiful surroundings, I had spent that first hour after arrival not unpacking but sitting with a piece of paper and pen, jotting down ideas as they came to me. I had reached that state between waking life and sleeping dreams, when murmurs from your head whisper in your ear, when bizarre images float lazily before your eyes for just a second, committing suicide if you focus on them. At some point, my head had fallen to rest on the desk, and when I woke up it was to the incessant bang on the door.

The room was fairly cool, but nothing more than it had been in London, cold air streaming in through the window I had left open just a crack. It was on the hook so nobody could make their way inside, should they have a mind to. I have a terrible habit of insomnia in warm rooms.

I wiped the grit from my eyes and hastened to open the door.

Standing outside was a man dressed in a thick winter coat, bearing a grim look on his face.

“How can I help you?” I greeted him in the proper fashion one should afford to the residents of a place one does not belong to.

“Close it.” He pointed to my window.

How thoughtful of him, to look out for a stranger! “It’s fine, it’s on the hook, and I’d like to let a little breeze in. Thank you for the warning, though.”

He shook his head. “Close it, or on your own head be it.”

I smiled mildly. Clearly this man was having a minor psychotic episode, and I should do nothing to antagonise him.

A bird sang nearby. In some countries, that’s a sign of a disturbance, but here in Britain there are quite a few birds who make the night their enchanting domain. Take the nightingale, for instance.

The man did not seem to share my enthusiasm for birds. Upon hearing the nightingale’s cry, he stiffened and looked around wildly. He bundled his coat tight, gestured towards my window one final time, and took off running. How odd he was. Once he had gone I wrote this down. As I finish these words, I will retire to bed for the last few hours I may have.

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