At first I did not know if I had awakened or not; for it was still full dark, and the broken vestiges of dreams yet haunted my awareness with their twisted caprices. But soon I knew that I woke, and that my need could not be denied; and I threw aside the covers and stood.
The night wind howled outside my window, and my light was but a feeble gleam as I made my way along the dim corridors. Once more, my mind was full of thoughts for my lost Lenore; Lenore, who had filled my dark world with light and comfort! But she was gone! - gone! - and now I trudged alone through those spectral and unhallowed passageways.
Oh, how I longed for her presence, as I stood at last in that freezing chamber with its nitre-encrusted walls, and did that which was needful, even though the cold and the abominable stench tore like the claws of tigers at my weakened lungs! But even as I did so, I chided myself for my folly; for she was gone beyond all recall, and no earthly or infernal power could bring her back to me. But, I wondered, did my folly lie in regretting her loss - or did it lie in the past, with the actions on my part which had driven her from my side and made her pledge herself to another?
Such speculation was pointless, I told myself as I shuffled back along the shadowy passages towards my empty bed. But before I composed myself for sleep once more, I made a notation on the paper at my bedside, in a thin and tremulous hand: Memo to self: either clean bathroom, or find another cleaning lady.