Alone in my room I lay down and at once plunged into dejection. It was as if my earlier hopefulness had been a consequence of upright posture. It seemed to me that my good fortune was entirely delusive; that utter solitude would have been preferable to being a stranger among an alien race; that food and shelter, far from being boons, were actually the sinister means of prolonging a futile and miserable existence at the bottom of the mountains of the moon; that even if I mastered the language of my hosts I had no certainty of leaving the valley; that if I did find my way out, I had little chance of discovering the island, which in any case would probably by then have flown away; that my hosts, although interested in me at the moment, and apparently kindhearted, would certainly tire of me in the long run, and find my presence not a diversion but a nuisance; and that the sole object capable of giving me pleasure, and to some extent reconciling me to my lonely fate, namely, my journal, had fallen in the moon-meadow. These thoughts impressed themselves so deeply on me that my cheerfulness at the garden table a short time ago seemed to me a form of raving; and with a sense of desolation, as if sleep itself were only another form of disappointment, I closed my weary eyes.
- Steven Millhauser
From the Realm of Morpheus