Plagued with inexplicable dreams, Albert had not slept in days. To compound his malaise, he missed Mileva, who had stayed with her parents. He took in a deep breath, then reluctantly pushed himself out of his warm cocoon. As the covers fell aside, a tattered flyer landed on the floor. “Discover the Secrets of The Mystical Travelers” it proclaimed. An illustration of a dignified-looking man of indeterminate age with a hint of a mischievous smile bore the inscription, “Pater Benjamin, A Great Spiritual Master.”
Albert negotiated the books and the litter-strewn path to the washstand where he cringed as he poked a hole in the crust of ice that had formed overnight in the pitcher by the washbasin. With a vacant gaze and bloodshot eyes, Albert frowned into the oval gilt mirror above the coarse, soap-scrummed porcelain. He patted down his unkempt hair that was currently standing up at odd angles, and he stroked the wiry growth under his nose.
Why am I having these nightmares? He took in a ragged breath and tried to reason with himself. When I attempt to do thought experiments, I discover myself in another universe with Johann. Am I going insane? I cannot concentrate on my studies. Albert poured some cold water into the basin, splashed it on his face to clear his head, and prepared to shave.
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