I don’t know how long this post is going to be because I am not sure how long I can be away from the toilet.
There. I said it. Now you know.
I’m hideous. Look away!
Who in the world gets sick during the summer? It better be the start of the Zombie Apocalypse Virus because if this is just a common cold, I’m really going to be pissed!
Since we’re friends and have gotten to know each other so well, I’ve felt comfortable enough to share my recurring nightmare with you.
I wake up in the middle of the night to find a masked being standing over the bed and watching me sleep. Sometimes, the figure has a knife. Other times, it’s just dangerously close to me when I’m sleeping like a perfect little angel.
Often, I’ll try to punch the figure, throw a pillow at it, or chase it out of the room. When that happens, I wake up throwing punches at the air, or to find my pillow on the other side of the bedroom, or to discover that I’ve wandered off down the hall.
Yes, it is a freaky nightmare.
It started right after my divorce, so I’m sure it’s rooted in my fear of being alone and abandoned. I used to think that the figure was my ex-wife.
Now I think the uninvited stranger is just fate. The unflattering future that awaits me if I cannot find someone to love me again, and more importantly, sleep next to me to keep the creepy creature away from me.
For all I know, the being under the mask is me. Maybe I’m too afraid to find out, and that’s why I never try to unmask my guest.
But last night, I was visited by something far more evil and exponentially more frightening in the middle of the night.
I’d gone to bed early because I was exhausted and wanted to get a jump on the new week. However, I woke up several hours later to discover I was not alone.
Something was inside my stomach.
It was wretched and painful and scared me wide awake in mere seconds.
I never throw up, but I felt like I was going to hurl, so I bolted for the bathroom. I have seriously not been in that kind of pain in a very long time.
I tried to figure out if I’d eaten something that disagreed with me, but I’d had a healthy menu all weekend.
As I sat there, contemplating death because I was absolutely certain it was coming, I wondered if this was the same level of pain felt by the characters in the Alien flicks when the newborn explodes out of their chests.
In space, no one can hear you scream. In the bathroom, your screams echo.
My next thought, which I almost acted upon despite the hour, was to wonder if my neighbors would drive me to the hospital if I pounded on their door and begged.
So, Janine, if you’re reading this, please be aware that my visiting at an ungodly hour is a sign of distress, not an attempt to be quirky social.
Honest to Zeus, I was that freaked out by what was going on in my stomach. Aside from the unrelenting pain, there was an unsettling gurgling noise that had me convinced an alien was about to enter the bathroom via my rib cage.
I really thought an ambulance ride was in my future because I couldn’t be trusted to drive in this condition. Of course, the one time I do need to have a stranger standing over the bed watching me sleep, he isn’t there to ask for a ride.
About a half hour after letting my thoughts lead me to the craziest places, the gurgling stopped and the pain subsided enough to make me think I’d live to see another sunrise.
Of course, I was not out of the woods yet.
But I traipsed up to bed, figuring it was more dignified for Death to claim me there, rather than on the toilet.
I shivered beneath the covers on a warm, summer’s night. I said prayers to any god that would listen. I told whatever demon was gaining strength inside me that it had picked the wrong, reclusive host as no one would be around to see it take full possession of my body.
Finally, thankfully, mercifully, I fell asleep.
But not before setting my alarm later so I could try to get a little more rest before having to deal with Monday.
I made it to morning, which you know because I’d never allow my ghost to post anything on this blog. But the evil inside me had not yet been vanquished.
I had no energy for a morning run or walk. I couldn’t eat breakfast. I got to work to discover my partner had called out sick.
Basically, it was a typical Monday just with the strong chance that I would have to sprint for the bathroom without warning.
Thank goodness I’ve been doing all that running.
I was probably a little too delirious to be wandering the streets, but no one else was out.
It was raining far too hard for that.
I’ve got a pounding headache, my stomach still isn’t right, and I’m exhausted. But thus far, no life form from another planet or a spiritual plain has entered the world via my weakened body.
I’m going to have to call that a moral victory, Modern Philosophers. But before we throw any ticker tape parades, let’s see if I sleep through the night first…