I’ve mentioned before that Dan is awesome at life. Things come easily to him, including sleeping. Sleeping and other involuntary human functions, like breathing (see HERE), don’t come as easily to me.
Within a minute of hitting the sheets, I feel the telltale twitches of Dan’s body settling into sleep and hear his ragged, deep-nasal breathing.
Thus begins my night, and I typically run through some variation of the following, starting with what crosses my mind as I lay in bed…
1) Testing the supernatural world. Put simply, this means I get really scared. I lie tense, waiting for the bed to start shaking, the lights to flicker, the sheets to slip off my body by some invisible force, or for my body to levitate. Or I just go straight to the punch line and picture Linda Blair’s face from “The Exorcist.”
2) Then I move on to see if I’M supernatural. I try to lift my cell phone from the nightstand using my mind, or at least to light up the touchscreen. As soon as the inevitable disappointment of not being able to telepathically control inanimate objects comes, I move on to animate objects and stare at Dan’s back while thinking repeatedly, “You will roll over… you will roll over.”
3) When the thirty seconds it takes for that to become boring is over, I start thinking about how much I love Dan and how desperately I hope nothing bad ever happens to him. Paranoia ensues, and it’s not uncommon for me to place my hand in front of his face in the dark just to check that he’s still breathing. He calls this behavior an unhealthy obsession with death. I call it true love.
4) Once the combination of my boredom, neurosis, and fears subside, I slip into dream-filled slumber. Several times a week this results in waking both Dan and myself up in the middle of the night with vivid hallucinations or dream-induced screaming. While asleep I’ve reportedly tried to convince Dan that there’s a disembodied giraffe head talking to me, dish-sized spiders floating mid-air, and once, when I was staying at my mom’s, I ran into her bedroom and insisted that she call 911 because a man was entering the house through the ceiling above my bed. Good times.
5) Other typical disruptions occur. It’s too hot or too cold, our mattress in Kentucky stinks, or, when we’re in Utah, it’s the pillows, or Dan’s 6-foot four-inch frame is rudely on my 3/4s of the bed. Then there’s Coda. Coda brings out the maternal in me, and some part of my brain is alerted to her even when I’m asleep. I will wake up if I hear her cough, nuzzle her bowls to indicate low water, scratch, make any movement that makes her collar jingle, or whine/growl/bark in her sleep. Basically, on top of my frequent nightmares, I wake up multiple times a night to take care of or soothe Coda. And to pee.
By morning, I feel and look like a zombie, which is probably the closest I will ever get to witnessing something — or actually being — supernatural.