Posts Tagged ‘sleep talk’
I had to laugh when I downloaded these photos off the camera: I actually wore this dress, and photographed it against the snow, earlier this year, so it’s Day 1 of Dressember and I’m already repeating myself! I guess this must be my Snow Dress. Feeling the chill? Why, reach for a green tartan dress, of course!
I also had to laugh at the boots, which I got in some equestrian shop or other when I was about thirteen, and went horse riding every weekend. They’re currently the only boots I own which are suitable to be worn in the snow, and this fact is the ultimate vindication for my dad’s habit of never throwing anything away, ever. In fact, he’s looking at this photo right now and shouting to my mum, “I KNEW it was a good idea to keep those things in the garage for significantly longer than most people keep their houses! I TOLD you!” If my 13-year-old self could somehow magically be shown these photos, meanwhile, she’d be going, “Seriously? I never get any new shoes, EVER? And I move to the Arctic circle? And THIS is why I’m always being told to work hard at school?!”
In non-dress-related news, Terry and I seem to have swapped personalities lately. Don’t worry, he hasn’t been obsessively shoe shopping and whining about the weather: I refer to the sleep talking. In fact, not once, but TWICE this week I have lain in bed, smugly secure in the knowledge that there are no crustaceans in MY bed, no sir, while Terry runs screaming around the room in his sleep. From what I can work out, what we’re dealing with here is a “Someone Hiding in the Wardrobe” situation. Uh-huh, one of those.
(Vintage brooches: the square one belonged to my gran, the bow was a birthday gift from my parents. It was made in the 1920s; they’d probably like me to point out that they didn’t actually BUY it back then…)
It always starts the same way with Terry. First there is a long-drawn out, almost comedic “Noooooooooo!” This is uttered in a tone of bitter resignation, almost as if that which Terry has been waiting all night for has finally come to pass, and now he must deal with it. He does this by dramatically flinging the duvet off the bed (and off me, naturally), and running to the other side of the room (I say “running” – it’s about three steps to the other side of the room, maybe two) clutching what I can only describe as an invisible spear above his head.
I don’t know how I know it’s a spear he’s carrying. I mean, he has consistently denied all knowledge of The Person in the Wardrobe when confronted with news of these nigh-time shenanigans. All I can tell you is that when I look up and see him running across the room, my first thought is always, “Oh, there’s Terry with the invisible spear again.”*
And once he reaches the wardrobe? He faces up to it, threateningly, then turns and stares around the room in utter confusion. “Where is the mystery man from the wardrobe?” his expression seems to say. “Where is my invisible spear? WHO AM I?!”
“Put the spear down and come back to bed,” I tell him, still feeling smug that it’s not me running around the room in the middle of the night for once. And within seconds he’ll be back in bed and sound asleep, with no memory whatsoever of the night’s events.
I, meanwhile, get to lie awake for hours, thinking, “Hey, I wonder what IS in that wardrobe? What did he SEEEEEEEEEE?”
* Since I wrote this, Terry has told me that he’s remembered the dream he was having during the latest sleep talking extravaganza, and it wasn’t an invisible spear he was carrying, it was me. I am the invisible spear. So that’s… weird.
It happened again.
It’s the early hours of the morning, and I wake up suddenly to find a huge piece of machinery standing next to the bed: I have only a vague impression of what it looks like, but from what I can tell, it’s tall, and made of metal, and has this long arm protruding from the front of it. As strange as this thing looks, though, the strangest thing about it by far is the fact that it certainly wasn’t standing next to my bed when I went to sleep. In fact, it wasn’t anywhere in my house. Huh.
Barely have I had time to register the presence of this thing, however, than it swings into action, and I watch in horror as the “arm” rises up and propells something towards the bed. As the item lands, I realise what it is: it’s a CRAB. Well, I mean, what else would a mysterious metal contraption propel onto my bed in the middle of the night?
Well, I do what anyone would do at this point. I jump screaming from the bed, slam on the light (vaguely registering as I do so that hey, the big metal thing isn’t there any more, but who cares because CRABS IN THE BED, people!) and start yelling at Terry to “GET UP! QUICK! AAARGH!”
Terry, jolted awake by the bright light and the hysterical screaming, reacts as he always does to this kind of thing: he raises himself up on one elbow and regards me solemnly. “What. The. Hell?” he asks.
“ANIMAL!” I shriek, apparently unable to even say the word “crab”. “BED! BED ANIMAL!”
“No,” says Terry, very slowly, as if speaking to an idiot (which, actually, now you come to mention it…) “No there isn’t. There are no Bed Animals.”
And instantly I realise: he’s right. There IS no crab in the bed. Because I just dreamt it. Again. And woke up screaming. Again.
So, needless to say, all of this is getting a bit tiring, and I mean that literally: it’s hard to get back to sleep after a “crab in the bed” episode, don’t you find? I’ve always said that if you’re going to have a serious phobia about something, crustaceans are a fairly good one to pick, because it’s not like they figure largely in most people’s lives, (Well, not if you live in a land-locked area, like I do. If you were a lobster fisherman, say, then it would be a seriously inconvenient phobia to have.) but now it would seem that my brain has found a way MAKE them a big part of my life. And to also find a way around the one thought I always use to comfort myself in these scenarios: how would a crab get into my bed? It couldn’t! There’s just no way a crab could even get into the HOUSE, let alone my bed! It would have to travel for MILES across land, first of all, then it would have to somehow break into the house and make its way upstairs, and, you know, they’re smart, but they’re not THAT smart.
(If a crab did that, it would have to be pretty determined to get me, huh? Guess what I’ll be dreaming about tonight?)
My subconscious has found a way to make it happen, though. Crabs would get into my bed by being fired there by a giant “slingshot” machine. THEY HAVE HELP, people. The Crab Overlords have made machines their servants, and if they can do that, well, I’m not the only one who should be afraid, basically.
Why can’t I dream about puppies? Or kittens? Or maybe even those little dwarf hamsters I saw in the pet shop last week when we were in buying some supplies for Rubin, and which were omgcute. But no. I have to dream of crabs. OF COURSE I do.
One of the most unexpected side-effects of the Invisalign treatment I’ve been having has been a dramatic increase in the number of “OMG, my teeth are all falling out!” nightmares I usually have: in fact, I’ve gone from maybe one per month to one every couple of days, which is, er, fun. (Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be one of those, “Look, here’s a really long explanation of a dream I had last night!” stories, which always involve some kind of kerrazy, wacky shenanigans and are as totally dull to hear about as they are bizarre to experience. “And then the elephant turned into a phone box! And the phone box was my teeth!”) I also wake up gagging every morning now. Hey, this is one of my best opening paragraphs ever, isn’t it?
(I’ve read that dreams about your teeth falling out symbolize your feelings of powerlessness. I guess that could be true – I mean, I AM pretty powerless – but I’ve always suspected it just happens because losing your teeth as a child is actually a pretty traumatic thing to go through. Seriously, parts of your body are in the process of dropping off: that has to affect you in some way, surely? And sure, your conscious mind may be thinking, “Hey, another one down! I wonder what the tooth fairy will give me for this bad boy?” but your unconscious mind has to be thinking, “WHOA! Parts of the body are FALLING OFF! I will never forget this, EVER, and many years from now, when she has long since forgotten all about it, I will remind her of the horror through the medium of a dream!” And, obviously, in my case, the dreams could just mean that I’m having Invisalign treatment which is making my teeth move. It could just be that.)
The sleep-talking has also started up again, although I think that has more to do with my general state of mind than with the Invisalign. In fact, last night I woke Terry up to tell him, “Some rubbish about something in the living room.” Terry can’t remember any of the details about this, but apparently I told him that if he “watched the programme” he’d “learn more about it.”
What’s weird about these incidents is that I can normally remember them perfectly clearly when I wake up, because at some point during them I generally become aware that it’s “that thing again” and that I am, in fact, talking crap. I even apologise for it. A few nights ago, for instance, I woke Terry up by plucking repeatedly at his shoulder. When he opened his eyes and glared at me, I shied back in alarm and said:
“SPIDER! SPIDER! There’s a spider on your shoulder!”
(I had clearly seen this spider, by the way. It wasn’t a big one, but it had enormous legs and, well, I didn’t want it to finish whatever it was it was doing with Terry and move on to me. I guess we’re just lucky it was a spider, and not my more-usual, OMFG THERE IS A CRAB IN MY BED hallucination. I’m normally halfway down the hall before I “wake up” from that one, and even then, Terry has to ostentatiously “search” the bed before I’ll get back in. Those bed-dwelling crustaceans are just the pits, aren’t they?)
Terry continued to glare at me, unmoved. “No,” he said, “There’s not. NOT. Go back to sleep.”
“There WAS!” I insisted. “There was a spider on your shou…oh. I’m doing that thing again, aren’t I?”
“OK,” I said, “Sorry about that! Also: I realise it’s totally implausible, and that I’m just doing That Thing, but if you could just let me check again…”
Terry turned his back on me and went to sleep.
And I lay awake for about ten minutes thinking, “Spider on his shoulder! Spider on his shoulder! Oh my God, there was totally a spider! On! His! Shoulder!”
Then, last night? Last night I dreamt that Nigel was mowing his lawn while naked. That has nothing to do with sleep-talking, actually, but I thought I’d note it anyway…
(P.S. I created a Facebook page for this site: it actually seemed like a pretty weird thing to be doing for a personal blog, but I know I tend to use FB and Twitter more than RSS these days for the purposes of “following”, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt. You’ll find it here, and if you “like” the page, you’ll get updates from me on your Facebook wall. Now won’t that be fun?)
I’ve been talking in my sleep again, folks. In the early hours of Monday morning, for instance, I apparently rolled over in bed and said to Terry, “Don’t worry: I’ll be your wall!” Which is nice. Well, I mean, everyone needs a wall, don’t they? He can lean on me! Or… sit on me! Rubin can… well, probably pee on me, but you know, still nice.
Sadly for me, though, the only wall I have been encountering recently is the wall of clothing in my hallway:
The Great Wall of Clothing. Dog not included.
Terry brought this little lot down from the attic for me on Sunday afternoon. What’s scary about this (other than the WOLF lying on top of it, obviously) is that this pile doesn’t even include all of the coats and jackets that are also up there. Whoops.
You see, because our house has approximately no storage whatsoever, I’m forced to actually DO that thing magazines are always advising you to do, whereby you kind of “rotate” your wardrobe, putting half of it into storage when the seasons change. I don’t really do it on a seasonal basis, because we don’t actually have seasons in Scotland, but at this time of year I will generally throw some of my winter coats up there, and also some other stuff that I have suddenly and inexplicably decided I can’t stand to give wardrobe space to for one second longer.
The idea, of course, is that in a few months time, I get it all back down again, and if I STILL don’t think I’ll wear the whatever-it-is that’s up there, I give it to charity. The problem with that though? Well, once my clothes go into the attic, they generally remain there for… well, forever. Because I basically forget what’s up there. Then I think to myself, “Oh, I really need a whatever-it-is!” and I go and buy one, forgetting that there’s already about twelve of them in the attic. I’d like to say this is why I have something like ten black sweaters/cardigans, but they weren’t even IN the attic, so I guess I’ll have to come up with another excuse for that one. Insanity, maybe.
Anyway, this Sunday I decided it was time to put an end to the madness. Two massive bags of Stuff went to the charity shop this morning, and a bunch of other Stuff was re-instated in my wardrobe, where it’s currently being given a Second Chance. I hope it doesn’t waste it.
Meanwhile, Terry installed a hanging pole in the top of the wardrobe in the office, and went out and bought these:
I like to hang things up. No, I mean, I REALLY like to hang things up. I’d hang up everything if I could. Even underwear. OK, maybe not underwear. But I try to hang as much as I possibly can: I hate folding because everything just ends up horribly creased (see Space: lack off) and also, I invariably end up just wearing the items from the top of the pile over and over again, then replacing them when they get old, while the stuff at the bottom just lies there, forgotten and lonely. This way at least I can see what’s actually there, get more use out of what I have, and hopefully nip that whole “black sweater” thing in the bud.
I can also go shopping. Because, obviously, that’s what all this was all about…
Terry and I are both sleep talkers. As you can imagine, this has led to some fun times in our house of an evening, and it’s weird because we can go for months without saying a word, and then all of a sudden we’re both Chatty McChatterson, talking non-stop, and none of it making sense.
My favourite sleep talking episode? That would be the time a couple of years ago when Terry was woken one night by the sound of my hysterical laughter. When he asked me just what the hell was so funny at 4am, all he could get out of me was the immortal line:
“There’s a puppet on my hand! And the bird is trying to get it!”
Now, Pepe le Parrot was staying with us at the time of this utterance, which may well explain the reference to “the bird”, but as for the puppet on my hand? No idea. Don’t even want to know, to be honest. Terry did manage to get me back a few nights later, though, when I woke up to find him patting my nose. “Good dog,” he said when I opened my eyes, “You’re a good dog…”
As insulting as that was, it was actually LESS insulting than the time I woke up to find him staring at me in abject horror. When I spoke to ask him what his problem was, he shrieked like a girl, and later explained, “I thought you were a log. I couldn’t believe it when you moved…” In Terry’s defence, his talking mostly happened when he was on dialysis, and we reckon all the various medications and chemicals in his blood combined to create the perfect conditions for a good old Sleep Talkin’. Dunno what my excuse is, though.
Anyway, it so happens that we’re currently going through a McChatty period in our lives, which was marked last week by two episodes in the one night. Mine was just your regular, run-of-the-mill “Oh my God, there’s a spider on the ceiling and it’s totally going to crawl into my mouth any second!” sleep talk. (Note: there wasn’t.) Terry, however, managed to score a personal best by shaking me awake to say – with a great deal of excitement and a small amount of self-importance, I might add – “There’s a melting coming! And when the melting comes? We will follow it!”
I’m hoping that was just nonsense and not, you know, a premonition. But just in case you believe in these kind of things, let me be the first to warn you about THE MELTING. It is coming, people. You’re welcome.