In dreams his pale bride came to him out of a green and leafy canopy. Her nipples pipeclayed and her rib bones painted white. She wore a dress of gauze and her dark hair was carried up in combs of ivory, combs of shell. Her smile, her downturned eyes. In the morning it was snowing again. Beads of small gray ice strung along the lightwires overhead.
He mistrusted all of that. He said the right dreams for a man in pearl were dreams of peril and all else was the call of langour and death. He slept little and he slept poorly. He dreamt of walking in a flowering wood where birds flew before them, he and the child and the sky was aching blue but he was learning how to wake himself from just such siren worlds. Lying there in the dark with the uncanny taste of a peach from some phantom orchard fading in his mouth. He thought if he lived long enough the world at last would all be lost. Like the dying world the newly blind inhabitant, all of it slowly fading from memory.
From daydreams on the road there was no waking. He plodded on. He could remember everything of her save her scent. Sitting in a theater beside him leaning forward listening to the music. Gold scrollwork sconces and tall columnar folds of the stage. She held his hand in her lap and he could feel the tops of her stocking through the thin stuff of her summer dress. Freeze this frame. Now calm down your dark and your cold and be damned.
Cormac McCarthy, The Road.