Cities at night, I feel, contain men who cry in their sleep and then say Nothing. It’s nothing. Just sad dreams. Or something like that . . . Swing low in your weep ship, with your sob probes and your tear scans, and you would mark them. Women–and they can be wives, lovers, gaunt muses, fat nurses, obsessions, devourers, exes, nemeses–will wake and turn to these men and ask, with female need-to-know, ‘What is it?’ And then men say, ‘Nothing. No it isn’t anything really.’

Just sad dreams.

Richard Royce was crying in his sleep. The woman beside him, his wife, Gina, woke and turned. She came up on him from behind and laid hands on his shaking shoulders. There was a professionalism in her blinks and frowns and whispers: like the person at the poolside, master of mouth-to-mouth; like the figure surging in on the blood-spattered zebra, a striding Christ of first aid.


Ghost Story
The Spelling Bee