So in she'd go and spend the whole day filling her bowl – that was how she thought of it, and of herself. Whatever there was to taste, she would; whatever there was to touch, she would. Or smell, or hear or understand. Again, she spent most of her time in the library, going from book to book, or jar to jar. She discovered that if she took the jars into the music room and simply put them to her ear, she could hear stories as clearly as if she were reading them to herself. She heard them all, and often if she was so inspired she'd go straight to the dressing room and find whatever she needed – the gown, the tunic, the turban or the suits of armor. She would take up the bows and swords and stand before the mirrors, and the mirrors would reply with villains and muses and nemeses, courtiers, paramours, challengers and fiends. And it wasn't long before she realized the mirrors were not mirrors at all, but frames and thresholds leading into deeper tunnels, dungeons and catacombs. All she had to do was step through and she could slay knaves, dance Orientales, escape dark dungeons. She could be all things: a queen, a maiden, she could be king, scientist, alchemist. Each garment set off another world, another past and future, filled with her in its guise. She could conclude the war; dress the wound; finish out the sentence; remove the head or have her head removed; she could starve or gorge, fly (as she already knew how to do); but swim the deepest oceans too; command, obey, chisel, play, pray, betray; everything a human could, or any beast had ever done, she could do.
Or almost everything.
No wonder, then, that every day should end with sheer exhaustion. Finally she would be so tired she'd lose all track of where she was. How could she know, with all these doors and halls and little corridors she followed? She'd try retracing her steps back on through the picture frames or mirror frames and jars, but sometimes she would simply lie down where she was, right there on the rug or in the nearest chair, and that was fine. That worked too, because no matter where she fell asleep, she always woke up back in her bed again, and in her room, where there would be a new light coming in, a new blanket, and new flowers on the bureau, waiting to greet her.
And he'd have done that too.