The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating
By Elisabeth Tova Bailey
By day, the strangeness of my situation was sharpest: I was bed-bound at a time when my friends and peers were moving forward in their careers and raising families. Yet the snail’s daytime sleeping habits gave me a fresh perspective; I was not the only one resting away the days. The snail naturally slept by day, even on the sunniest of afternoons. Its companionship was a comfort to me and buffered my feelings of uselessness.
In the evenings there was a short but satisfying time when I knew the rest of the human world would join me, if just for the night, in my recumbent lifestyle. When healthy people take to their beds, they sink deeply into a privileged sleep. But with my illness, sleep was diaphanous and often nonexistent. The snail, once again, came to my rescue. As the world fell into sleep without me, the snail awoke, as if this darkest of times were indeed the best of times in which to live.