Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fear of the Dark

"Last night I didn't get to sleep at all, no, no; I lay awake and watched until the morning light."

With apologies to the Fifth Dimension, I have been suffering all day with extreme fatigue because I had trouble sleeping last night. As I was lying in bed, slowly approaching Nod, I felt something brush against my hand. I immediately (and groggily) sprung out of my bed and turned on the light. I saw the intruder moving down the side of my bed. I did my best Bullseye imitation and ran like the wind to get the vacuum cleaner. I was operating in a mode of panic, fueled by pure, uncut adrenaline. I sucked the critter up and spent the next 30 minutes creeping about my bedroom with an old broom handle, looking for other enemy combatants. I was so totally fried after a long, pressure-filled day, but I was too petrified to get back into bed and try again.

In case you couldn't tell by what I have said already, I have an irrational fear of bugs. I find them so odious, that my blood pressure just skyrockets thinking about them. After the all-clear was finally sounded and my room was certified once again as ready for nighty-night, I took the extra precaution of moving the vacuum cleaner outside to my storage shed (you can't be too careful when it comes to bug spirits). I wanted to sleep, I needed to sleep, but my bug paranoia was in control. About an hour later, after significant tossing and turning, I was just starting to surface sleep again, but my innards were still reeling - images of the enemy still flashing in my mind. At one point I opened my eyes and thought there was another critter on the wall. I jumped out of bed again, and stumbled across the floor to find the switch to flood the room with light. As I moved through the dark, my discarded socks on the floor growled at me, my shoes caused me to catch my breath. I was outnumbered! They were everywhere! After what seemed like several minutes of pure terror, I finally found a clear path to the light switch and turned it on. Nothing. The room was completely bug free.

Could it have been my imagination? Was I in some kooky dream-ish condition? I couldn't risk being wrong, so I pulled all of the furniture away from the walls and carefully slunk around the room channeling Rambo from First Blood. After I was certain that I was alone, I went through the process of restoring my furniture to its original location and going back to sleep. Another 30 minutes went by before I even started to drift off, but once again, my mind began playing cruel tricks on me. I saw a huge, praying mantis-like creature sitting on my nightstand eyeing me with vicious, hostile intent. I jumped up screaming like a 14-year-old school girl, covered in sweat. At this point I looked at the clock and knew I was in trouble. It was just past 4:00 a.m., and I had to be at work in about 3 hours. I knew that I was going to have to battle all day just to even try to stay awake and be clear-headed. I knew this was a battle that I would lose.