He could not sleep so he went for a walk. The winter-crisp night was windless. A full moon candled a sky pebbled with stars. He remembered the Ibo proverb in Achebe: “When the moon is shining the cripple becomes hungry for a walk.” And what was that story that described each pinpoint of starlight as the cold cry of an anguished purgatorial soul. He walked. He had no destination in mind, no place he particularly wanted to go. He just walked.
Crossing a snowy field he came upon boot tracks. The punctuation of another night walker. He followed them until suddenly they stopped. Just disappeared, as if the walker walked up into the night sky. Ascended into the pale energy of the white moon. The night massed. Something, he felt, lay in wait, lay just out of sight, clamped and lidded, hidden perhaps beyond the tree line ahead or in the seam of shadow and light or behind the moon--some summons, some surging epiphany, some something that would send him spinning, out over the field, over the town, over the horizon. The cold deepened, entered his flesh and rippled him with shivering. He felt he might be unraveling. He turned and followed the two sets of tracks until they became only his set of tracks. He followed his tracks back across the field and returned home.
He snugged himself under a comforter, sealed himself to keep from untangling. He slept. But he did not dream.