Daniil Ivanovich Kharms

(30 December 1905 – 2 February 1942 / Saint Petersburg)

Sleep Teases A Man


Markov took off his boots and, with a deep breath, lay down on the divan.
He felt sleepy but, as soon as he closed his eyes, the desire for sleep immediately passed. Markov opened his eyes and stretched out his hand for a book. But sleep again came over him and, not even reaching the book, Markov lay down and once more closed his eyes. But, the moment his eyes closed, sleepiness left him again and his consciousness became so clear that Markov could solve in his head algebraical problems involving equations with two unknown quantities.
Markov was tormented for quite some time, not knowing what to do: should he sleep or should he liven himself up? Finally, exhausted and thoroughly sick of himself and his room, Markov put on his coat and hat, took his walking cane and went out on to the street. The fresh breeze calmed Makarov down, he became rather more at one with himself and felt like going back home to his room.
Upon going into his room, he experienced an agreeable bodily fatigue and felt like sleeping. But, as soon as he lay down on the divan and closed his eyes, his sleepiness instantly evaporated.

In a fury, Markov jumped up from his divan and, hatless and coatless, raced off in the direction of Tavrichesky Park.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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