When I woke up at 5:20 this morning I was shaken. I rolled in an ungainly fashion out of bed, legs wrapped up in sheets and blankets clutched in my hands. I had to make sure the beeping sound I was hearing was not a really quiet smoke detector, although even in my quasi-somnambulant state I knew that wouldn’t be a real thing, it makes no sense! Turns out there actually wasn’t any beeping sound at all, quiet or not. It was all part of that confusing dream I had been having. I heard a rustling outside the bedroom door and flung it open, uncharacteristically brave in the darkness. Ryan works nights sometimes, and this morning I was all alone, with the exception of the dog. But I’d be damned if I were to let some … intruder … sneak up on me. It was actually the dog out there, hoping for an early breakfast.
When I have a nightmare I have to justify it. There has to be a reason I was forced to stop the house burning down using only an oven mitt, why there was WWII happening in my backyard, why a black ghosty thing was floating in the hallway near the ceiling being scary for some reason, etcetera.
I guess my nightmares last night came from a combination of events. On top of everyday stressy things like money and friends, I had also read the climax of a zombie novel before falling asleep, all day I caught myself thinking about that meteorite in Russia and the comet that almost killed us all. And I was called “a punching bag” by a smiling, pacing, wild-eyed tall man who was pacing back and forth at the bus stop. I mean, he just strode up to me and said “You are a punching bag,” and then walked over to someone else, presumably to make their day confusing as well.
I also had the amazing luck of sitting directly next to a weirdly blonde, obese lady. Maybe it was a wig but I’m pretty sure that mop grew out of her head. She was bouncing and cackling* and sat squashed right up to me even though there were plenty of seats.
I watched Beasts of the Southern Wild alone and cried even though there’s NO CRYING in the bathtub. And I’m feeling a bit crazy from being out in public (at work, on the bus, bla bla bla) every single day without a break, because my bosses are away at the Brighton Tattoo Convention and I’m all “responsible for stuff” and “keeping an eye on things” while they’re away.
And so I nightmared all night long. And when I got up at 5:20 all I really wanted was a pair of strong arms around me, to rub my back and tell me it was just a dream and everything is fine. But instead I was greeted with snores and snuffles and a fifteen pound head in my lap.
Somehow he turned it into a pretty nice morning.
*I don’t really know how else to explain that lady on the bus. She was laughing to herself basically non-stop during the 30 minute bus ride and was kind of bouncing in her seat and kicking her legs around. Periodically she would (very conspicuously) pull her Nokia flip phone out from a crinkly shopping bag, lean waaaay forward and to the side, and snap photos of a teenaged boy. And then burst into fresh laughter. The entire time I was stuck beside her I used the Jurassic Park T-Rex maneuver on her: don’t move and she can’t see you. I can’t tell you the dread I felt that she might notice me and try to get me in on the joke.