3rd july 2006

He always wakes up far too early, jolting himself into consciousness with the idea that he has some important task on hand, something that he needs to supervise or see to completion; but he can never remember what it might be. He gets up from his rancid bed and wanders from room to room, from passage to stairwell. He goes from couch to couch, pulling the ears of the sleepers, mumbling encouraging phrases into their blank faces, but none of them ever wakes; not one of them can ever wake. They are stacked in the rooms like slaves in a barracoon; more of them arrive every hour. He had his own room once - a throne even - but now he's sidelined, a caretaker, sleeping among the bodies wherever he can find a space.
He carries a tattered list, a catalogue, the newest entries scrawled hastily on the endpapers; he knows he should check through and make sure no-one's missing. But it would take weeks, months, he cannot rouse himself to the job.
He waits, he is waiting; he longs for the visit of another Orpheus, another Virgil leading another poet.