© 2010 Kevin Bradley
A man laid with his head on a domesticated
animal never sleeps well, or deeply
By Kevin Bradley
„Well, you wouldn‟t, would you?‟
„Um, sorry I don‟t know what you mean.‟
The man blinked, „I said, “A man laid with his head on a domesticated animal never sleeps
well, or deeply.”‟
I watched the man‟s mouth as he spoke, my surprised mind reaching out for the words he
was saying. When he had stopped speaking, he simultaneously raised his eyes from the
magazine he was reading, raised his eyebrows into the wide space beneath his swept-back
hair and raised the corner of his mouth into a satisfied smile. „That‟s neat‟, I thought.
„That‟s neat‟, I said.
The man‟s pointy chin prodded at the air and then swung itself back inside the magazine.
„It says here,‟ he said, „that a man‟s perception of the quality of his sleep deteriorates with
age. But I don‟t believe that.‟
„Oh,‟ I said, offering no encouragement.
The man‟s pointy chin pointed towards me until his his entire face faced my entire face. And
„Do you know what a „somnambulist‟ is?‟ he asked.
„Sleep-walker,‟ I said.
„Yes,‟ replied the man, nodding again. „That‟s right,‟ corner of the mouth twitching up again.
„How about „somnostalgist‟?‟ he asked.
„Somn-what?‟ I said.
„I- I‟ve no idea,‟ I said.
„It‟s someone who believes that he used to sleep better. In the olden days.‟
„Oh,‟ I said, „I‟ve not heard that before.‟
„No,‟ said the man, the other side of his mouth twitching upward to match its opposing
number, „you haven‟t. That‟s because I just made it up.‟
„Oh,‟ I said again, not knowing quite what to say, „I see.‟
The man continued for a moment, obviously enjoying himself.
„How about „somnocturnist‟?‟ he asked.