I don't sleep. For over a year I have stayed up until ridiculous hours in the morning. My body just doesn't want to shut down. When my wife and I found out that my liver was shutting down one of the first things the doctors asked us was, "Do you tend to stay up late at night and take cat naps during the day to catch up on your sleep?"
Lois and I responded by looking at each other and laughing. "Uh, yes." I said.
It turns out that this is a hallmark symptom for people who are going through liver failure. I don't know why. Neither do the doctors, evidently.
Lately, my sleeping habits have become a real problem. Sleep deprivation is making me an emotional wreck, almost to the point that I'm starting to look like a bad cartoon character.
I finally made an appointment with my family doctor and in the meantime Lois picked me up some over-the-counter sleeping pills. I did that for a couple of days until my doctor appointment. I told him my story and he prescribed a medicine that Lois and I have heard stories about. He assured us that, despite what we had heard, he felt perfectly comfortable in prescribing them to me and said that he in fact used them himself.
So...I took half a pill the first night and a full pill on the second. And both nights I did sleep. With just a slight lingering effect of grogginess the next morning after taking the full pill. But that was probably my fault because I took it later than I should have.
Well, just the other day I was thinking to myself, 'I never dream any more.' I used to have some pretty vivid dreams. Sometimes the colors and textures could be so intense that I would wake up wishing that there was a way to record that one.
So last night I went to bed and I didn't take a sleeper because it was way too late and I had forgotten about them.
I went to bed feeling miserable because my stomach was upset and it was on fire. And the sleep wasn't really sleep. It felt like I was waking up every ten minutes or so. On top of that, when my aunt came to visit a couple of weeks ago, I moved the guinea pig out of my daughter's room and into our room and I have yet to move it back. The guy is my favorite rodent in the house so I suspect that has something to do with it.
At some point I went to sleep. Maybe it was because I had watched part of Halloween H20 or Ghost Ship or any number of other horror flicks that came on last night. Or even the Davinci Code. I can't be certain. Suffice it to say, I probably had what most people would call a full-blown nightmare.
...There was a man who I suspect had narcolepsy. He was the night watchman in a museum over a very unique painting. The painting in this dream was unbelievable. As far as I know, no such painting exists. Not this one anyway. As I looked up on the wall to view this extraordinary piece of art, the first thing I noticed was that I couldn't see it at all. The only thing I could see was the surrounding edges of this masterpiece and even they were obscure. All I saw was a brilliant bright light and how I imagined those edges would look like. It was a painting of 'The Last Supper.'
Fast forward...the museum was closing. The narcoleptic night watchman was telling everyone about the amazing experience he had just had keeping a vigilant watch over this masterpiece, even though he kept falling asleep. And as I watched them wheel the painting out of the exhibit room to lock it up in a giant safe, I remember thinking how precarious it was that the only watchman there was to guard this thing had already left.
The scenery changed and I was in some sort of shop. I didn't work there -- that is to say it wasn't my ordinary job -- but I was helping out as an instructor and my shift had just ended. As I got on a computer to log out, I realized that I was on a internet network and I couldn't logout because the server was down. I soon noticed that everyone who was working there had slowly disappeared and gone home. All except for three men who appeared to be waiting for me to leave. I also noticed that one man in particular was doing his best to get rid of me. Feeling responsible to the shop owner, I thought it was only fair that I try to logout. I soon realized that the man had a key to the shop and he was waiting for me to leave and I was the only thing standing in his way. He suddenly became very mean and belligerent and started threatening me.
"I will bury you alive," he yelled, "Just like all the men before you."
It occurred to me that this man was an actor I'd seen in the movies and he kind of reminded me of Danny Trejo. I still didn't know that I was dreaming. And not wanting to show any sign that I was scared and my heart was skipping beats and I was near to wetting myself, I pulled out my cell phone as if I'd just received a phone call and slowly walked away. But when I started my fake conversation on my phone I could hear my oldest daughter on the other end of the line and I could barely make out what she was saying. I was asking them where they were and they both were trying to tell me at the same time.
I heard one of them saying that they had gotten a ride and they were in Sugarhouse, while the other was trying to tell me that the girls they were with were smoking.
"What?" I was saying. And thinking: How could they get into someone's car and drive 15 miles across town without telling us? I was literally terrified.
So I was trying to figure out a rescue plan because I had no idea where my wife was and I had no way of getting them. And then I looked around and realized that I was outside walking down a street as a little boy approached me and asked if the girls could play. And then he started chirping! And I suddenly realized that this was the same little boy from a post I read the other day called Boo!
Realizing that I was dreaming I jerked myself awake just as my cat stretched out on the bed and dug his hind feet into my rib cage and the guinea pig started squeaking and making his clicking noises.
Man did I freak out!