It later occurred to me that had I awakened that morning not as a hysterical prisoner of damp and twisted sheets, but having instead been deposited by some dreadful means into the scene of a recurring nightmare. I shouldn’t have regarded the day’s events as any less extraordinary, for by that afternoon, I would find my circumstances so frightfully confused that I wondered if I might have fared better as the doomed victim of my own tragic hallucination. Disturbed as my condition was, the prospect of a watery grave had grown increasingly attractive, and I wished desperately to be stirred into the reality of that slight, trembling boy balanced precariously against the cliff’s edge, whose terrible anguish had the haunted, distanced quality of a dream. Resignedly helpless to the brutal activity of crashing about the jagged rocks, salty thunder swirling inside my skull- consistent with the unforgiving manner with which the wind had taken to whipping about my helpless form. As it happened, the day could not have got off to a more unremarkable start, save the noisy rattling that had quite suddenly begun in the old house, startling myself (and, I believe, the house, for she groaned as if to explain that she, too, had slept fitfully).