Many of you have heard my crazy sleep stories – there’s the time I drove in my sleep on the 91 freeway, the time I woke up to find all my bedding outside of my apartment, the time I was looking for the secret plans and Vicky told me she had them so I could go back to sleep – but this one is different in a way.
Vicky, of course, is very used to my nocturnal weirdness. She finds it amusing… but I don’t know if I’d call it that.
The mechanics of the thing goes like this: When I sleepwalk, I am often dreaming. In addition, I am often on the verge of being awake, which makes it pretty easy to talk to me and even snap me out of it.
The other night, I was closer to being awake than Vicky thought.
Vicky found me standing near the bedroom door in the middle of the night, looking out at something. So, she asked me what I was looking at. You’ll have to forgive my lack of detail here – you try to take notes next time you sleepwalk.
Because, you see, I had been sleepwalking. I had seen an image outside the bedroom door. I walked over to it and tried to make sense of it, but I couldn’t. When Vicky asked me what I was looking at, I was already very close to being awake. But I was trying to hold on to the image, trying to will myself to continue sleeping. “I don’t know,” I told her.
“Well, why don’t you come back to bed?”
“I can’t,” I said. “I’m trying to figure this out.”
“There’s nothing to figure out. You’re sleepwalking again.”
“No,” I said. I couldn’t quite explain my situation and stay asleep enough to see what I was seeing at the same time, so my words came out confused. “I’m trying to see this.”
Vicky started laughing because, of course, there wasn’t anything there. What I was looking at wasn’t there but I could only see it by looking there, out the door. Actually, I was looking across the hall into the bathroom. And the image was fading. Vicky was waking me up. I tried to ask her to be quiet – just give me another minute so I could figure it out.
“You always do this,” she laughed. “You don’t even realize you’re asleep.”
That did it. I turned to her and growled, “I did realize I was asleep. Now, I’m awake. I realize I was sleepwalking. I was trying to see what I got up in my sleep for.”
“Oh. What was it?”
I had no idea.
After years of sleepwalking, I’ll grab at any clue why, even if I can only see it while I’m sleepwalking. Ugh.