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Guest Column

Space Capsule of Slumber
By Jernej Gal
Apr 9, 2014 - 12:10:09 AM

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While lying in bed at night some people, perhaps even you, are embroiled by numerous thoughts. Thoughts of what you did or did not do today, or thoughts of an embarrassing moment from your childhood when you started speaking to a girl on the beach and you had told her quite a long story before you noticed that you didn't even recognize her face, and by looking at her swimwear you realized that you mistook her, since she wore the same swimwear as your sister, who was also present at the beach. Or maybe you thought about a similar moment from high school, which was even more embarrassing for you, and thus your stomach makes you feel quite uncomfortable for a few moments. Such thoughts are usually unrelaxing and make you turn and twist on your bed while you are trying to fall asleep. They extend the period of time you need to fall asleep. Therefore you must constrain them and bring out one major thought to rule over all the other thoughts.

Imagine a space capsule floating through space. Now this capsule is a small one, not much bigger than you. It is in the shape of a cylinder with smooth and round edges on either side, and it is colored white on the outside. It has a big long window on the top, which also has round edges. No engine can be seen since it is a product of the highest technology from the future, making it as quiet as a cloud. In it there is a bed stretched from wall to wall, and you are about to fall asleep on that bed. It has either soft or hard mattress (depends on the kind you prefer the most), and a cold pillow is also under your head. In the area of your eyes there are little windows with inside shutters on either side, so that you may look outside for a split second should you wake up during your sleep. You are covered with a blanket and the air is not too cold and not too warm, it is just right. You have enough air to breathe for hundreds of years and you will never run out of it, nor will there be any kind of malfunction in the perfect design of this space capsule. The air is also mixed with all the nutrition you need, food and water, not only to survive but to live and sleep healthy as a human being should. No processed foods will you inhale, only the natural ones (remember this is a space capsule from the future). In addition to nutrition, another substance is also mixed with this air, and this substance makes you sleep for 23 hours a day, and it also makes it easier for you to fall asleep. Of course there is not day and night in the outer space where you are right now but nevertheless you are used to the 24 hour cycle, therefore you should be able to know when the day starts, and when the night ends. In this way (it is completely up to you) a small digital (or analog) clock is also installed on a wall of your choosing inside the capsule. This is the space capsule you're lying in at this moment.

You are breathing slowly and calmly, travelling in the space capsule with occasional slight vibrations. You can be travelling to any location you desire or to none if you choose so. For my final destination I have chosen our home planet, the Earth, and with every minute I am drawing closer to my home, however, I still have to wait and sleep on this comfortable bed for many hours or even days before my destination is finally reached. And the same rule applies to you. Without any concerns or errands you are free to stay in bed (the most comfortable you have ever been in), and occasionally glance through the big window at the stars above you, slowly swinging by before forever disappearing in the depths of the beautiful universe, rich with colorful hazes of the space.

You are lying completely still, only your nostrils are slightly moving as you inhale and exhale the perfect air. You have never been more comfortable than now, and if ever you should turn on your other side, you would be in an even more comfortable position than before. Your pillow will always stay cold and thus be perfect even after you have woken up. Slowly you are sinking into world of dreams, and at first minor and short thoughts without meaning and any kind of connection between them will burst into the space capsule, signifying that you are at the brink of falling asleep. You must not hinder these thoughts, for they are the good ones, the positive ones, the escort to the dreams and peaceful sleep. But if a bad thought you are trying to recall consciously, breaches the walls of the space capsule, then you must remember that you are still lying in its bed, floating through space to your destination (if there is one), and sometimes looking at the stars go by. But if the bad thought grows ever stronger, you can comfortably turn around in the bed of the space capsule and start slowly counting from 99 to 1 (you will seldom or never reach 60) until you drift away to the timeless and never ending world of dreams, while still comfortably lying in the bed of your space capsule.

Jernej Gal


Jernej Gal is studying Translation at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Maribor, Slovenia. He has an interest in writing fictional short stories in English. Today's article is his first published piece.


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