I wake myself turning over. It doesn’t happen every time, but it happens often. But this time, it’s different. This time I can feel someone in the room with us.
I lay still for a minute, listening intently for a slightest sign I movement. There is none, but I continue to audibly stare into the dark anyway. The noise never comes but the feeling that someone, something is lurking in corners not only remains, it consumes my every thought.
Unlike in childhood, pulling the blankets over your head will provide no relief. This boogie man is not under the bed. He’s prowling the room looking for victims. I lay still, eyes closed, breathing shallow, hoping that whatever it is thinks I’m still asleep.
My wife lays next to me, but she may as well be in the next house for as useful as she is for me in this moment. I can feel the darkness engulf me. The tighter it’s grip gets, the more isolation I feel. The greater the isolation, the greater my sense of panic. As the panic grows, my heart races faster. As I feel my heart racing, I start wondering if whatever this is can sense fear… Which induces more panic and the circular reference continues until I am on the edge of a complete breakdown.
The sense of my heart on the verge of exploding continues as the panic grows. My body can’t take a another strain when it happens….
The dog jumps on the bed!
Our Schnauzer will sit motionless at the side of the bed waiting patiently for one of us to pick her up into bed. Hence, the lack if noise. After awhile, she gets tired of waiting and will jump up on her own (and usually on me to get in the middle).
The dogs sleep with the kids now.