Archive for July 29th, 2008

Startled Asleep

I woke myself up in the middle of the night. Talking.

Well, it might have been only 10:30 or 11 p.m., but it felt like the middle of the night. Darkness lay over me. Thanks to a light blocking shade in my bedroom, when it’s night time I can’t see my hand in front of my face. It’s a fog of black and empty. Conducive to sleeping, but not so helpful during an adrenaline spike.

And maybe that’s why I startled myself awake in the first place. Part of the zero (dreaming peacefully) to 60 (panic stricken confusion) awakening also may have resulted from the new room arrangement. I’m a re-arranger.  Have been since my adolescent years. Two, three, maybe four times a year, I’ll be rearranging furniture somewhere. I’m hip to helping others rearrange their furniture as well. It gives new perspective.

Hmmm. So that’s what the wall looks like from here.”

It also aids to confusion and terror when waking up and not knowing whose strange room you’ve been abducted to. But within a few seconds you realize it’s your room, your bed…and then you scoff at yourself for being an idiot.

Back to my waking up. It’s not often I have those bolt upright “something is wrong here” moments. But I woke up just that way a few nights back and I know I heard myself saying out loud (but in some what of a slurred sleepy tone), “Who’s here?!”  (To anyone listening, it sounded more like, “Ooos sheeeere?)

Clearly, in my dream. I was experiencing a home invasion. But in all likelihood, my 14-year-old son flushed the toilet and the sound of the water swirling into the sewer system of toney Maple Grove, Minn., startled me out of my slumber.

An Aside: My Mom always told me not to eat before going to bed. Eating results in the digestive system going into gear and once those juices start flowing funky things happen to the brain – your dreams become wicked. Her sage advice didn’t work for me as a kid. I had plenty-o-dreams in which dinosaurs were trying to eat me, thus forcing me to spend the night at the foot of Mom and Dad’s bed with just a pillow and my Snoopy stuffed dog. Nothing protects like Snoopy. (But as a more rational adult, isn’t it true that a dinosaur would just see me at the foot of Mom and Dad’s bed, eat me and then devour them as well! Derrrrr!).

To wrap this story up, last night I woke up yet again from a sound sleep. Convinced that my cell phone had somehow fallen under the bed. Naturally, I performed the most bravest of acts known to mankind. I leaned over the side of the bed. I slowly lifted up the bed skirt. And, precariously balancing on one hand in order to keep from falling out of bed, I looked into that cavernous dark space that only evil clowns or Chuckie dolls can reside.  Nothing. Too dark. In order to see I needed a light, so I grabbed my cell phone and hit a button giving a faint blue familiar glow and started to look again only to realize that my freaking cell phone was right there in my freaking hand!  It was 1:18 a.m. Why was I awake?

Perhaps the trick is to not eat after Noon to avoid these wicked sleep-hindering awakenings.


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