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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Night Terrors

Do you live in fear of it, too?

I do.

I have to say I'm more than a little freaked out about things happening to/around me while I'm vulnerable-- while I'm.... asleep.

Obviously I'm not afraid of being violated in some way by a stranger-- not with my wife right next to me-- but I am always at least a little scared of something unpleasant or dangerous or cataclysmic happening while I'm asleep, unable to do anything to prevent the situation, or take any measures to defend myself, or my wife-- or even the dog.

Sleep is a funny state, because your mind can convince you that anything's happening and that anything's real. I was in the middle of a dream last night where two actors dressed as cops were beating each other up in a play, and then one started pulling the other one around the whole stage by his penis. And then a guy sitting in the audience with me, who was apparently Samuel French, started randomly signing autographs and laughing like a madman. This all seemed extremely plausible to me at the time. Just then, I heard this tremendous tumbling sound and I immediately woke up-- or did I wake up and then hear the tumbling sound? It sounded like someone was jumping up and down on our window air conditioning unit. But that didn't make sense-- not like someone pulling someone else around by his penis made sense. I whispered in that shrill, nighttime way to Mrs. Apron:

"Hey! Did you hear that?"

"No," she said.

"You didn't hear that? It was a huge, big noise!"

"It couldn't have been a huge, big noise, because then I would have heard it, too."

Had I been more awake, I would have questioned the logic in this argument but, as it was, I just resigned myself to my obvious fate: we were about to be murdered in our bed by a sociopathic intruder who would have just quietly robbed us of all of our worldly possessions but is now furious because he just tripped over some piece of random shit downstairs. He will, at any second, burst through our bedroom door and scream,

"JESUS FUCKING CHRIST! Why don't you people put your shit away!? I've never seen such a messy house before! Do you have any idea what I just fell over downstairs?! A fucking pile of wood from an unassembled shelf, a goddamned banjo, and six dog toys! Now, say goodbye, motherfuckers!!!"

And then the shooting begins.

Goodbye, motherfuckers.

Fortunately, this did not come to pass. There was no intruder, though I did stay up for an exceedingly long time waiting for one. Next, my racing thoughts turned to the next obvious cause of such a loud noise: the gas heater in the basement. To me, that people can live in houses heated by flammable substances every day is just as miraculous as planes that stay in the air every day which is just as miraculous as the alleged events of Ascension Thursday. That said, I'm always expecting our house to blow up. With any luck, it will be while we are both at work and the dog has let himself out, but we all know that I'm not lucky.

And so I wanted for either flames to slowly engulf the house or for us to be overcome by carbon monoxide fumes.

That didn't happen either.

I was somewhat purturbed by Mrs. Apron's inherent lack of concern over situations that bring me such marked distress. Then again, I guess it's good she's different from me in that respect, or we'd both be donning tactical vests and loading pump-action shotguns everytime the floorboards creaked. She requires actual evidence before she reacts to something-- all I require is a frenzied halfthought. I guess it's good I never became a cop. Come up to my patrol car window and tap on it to ask for directions to the nearest K-Mart?

BLAM! There goes your head.

I was pretty relieved and pleased this morning when the alarm clock went off and the house was not a pile of rubble and we were both not dead.

"You really freaked out about something last night," my wife said to me.

"Well, something happened!" I protested.


After we brushed our teeth and she got up to speed on the latest pathetic Dear Abby morons, I moved toward the staircase to go downstairs. I stopped. And stared. Because we're pretty slow with the unpacking process, we had left approximately ten empty boxes on the landing for a couple of weeks. This morning, there were only four boxes still left up there. Six had come to rest at the foot of the stairs. I threw two more boxes down the stairs, just to hear what it would sound like.

Like somebody jumping up and down on our window air conditioning unit.

1 comment:

  1. Reminds me of one of my first nights alone when WH took a traveling job. I heard funny noises and then a weird shadow over the fridge (I can see the fridge from bed. small house. shuttup.). I grabbed my loaded .357 and got out of bed. I was standing in the doorway, trying to get a clear shot into the living room and waiting for my robber to appear. Then the dog came around the corner with the lid to the kitty litter stuck around his neck. Apparently, his turd-bobbing scheme went awry. ;)

    Good times.


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