I’ve been experiencing sleep paralysis lately. For those unaware of this phenomenon it works kind of the opposite of sleep walking. You wake with your sense of consciousness intact but unable to move your body. Typically feeling some sense of danger, you lay there in a state of total fear while your conscious mind tries feebly to figure out a way to escape. I’ve found when these occurences happen that focused concentration allows me to move some part of my body. I can lift my foot. Sometimes I’m able to move sound through my mouth. But nothing else. And rationalizing it is pointless. Part of you is awake, part of you is still living in some nightmare.
I was being chased by something. One of those faceless, ambiguous apparitions that follow you through each landscape always just a few steps behind. In my dream, it was a blur of white lines in the darkness. Like the way a”scuffle” looks in comic strips. Just whirling lines and a cloud of dust. When I opened my eyes there was a man standing at the end of the bed. He wore a brown leather coat, a hat, and held a knife in his hand. I knew he wasn’t real. I knew that even though I saw him that I wasn’t actually looking at anything but air between the bed and the dresser. But part of me believed that he was standing there. And that part of me needed to escape, to crawl to safety or strike back.
The other part of me looked around the dark room and noticed the LCD lights on the alarm clock: 1:33 AM. It’s the middle of the night. Robin is lying next to me. I was just having a nightmare. Can I move my body? No. My arm? No. I’m trapped in my mind.
But still there is a man and he’s holding a knife and he’s found a way to chase me from one state of consciousness to another. And he’s going to stab me, repeatedly, if I don’t leave this bed.
But he’s not there. He can’t be there because I’m looking around the room and it’s silent. Even the dog is still sleeping sound beside the bed. Everything is peaceful. But the fact that I believe all of this danger is surrounding me isn’t good. That means my mind is trying to eat itself. And I can’t move my legs. I’m paralyzed. If I’m dreaming I need to wake up. But how? I’m already awake. I can’t wake up my body because it won’t respond to my brain, even though my brain believes I’m about to be violently bludgeoned in my bed.
Robin is only two feet away. If I can wake her, she’ll wake me. But how do I get her to wake up? I can barely move my leg. Maybe if I kick her. Let’s see…
She moaned. But she isn’t waking up. Can I make any noise? Can I talk?
There we go. She’s rolling over. Okay… now she’s getting up. She doesn’t look too happy. She looks angry. Let’s really belt this one…
She’s out of bed. At any moment she’ll realize what’s happening to me. She’ll rush to my side, hold me close and try to wake me by saying “Shhhhh…it’s okay” over and over again with all that motherly nature she has. Everything is going to be fine.
…okay, she’s grabbing a pillow… now she’s grabbing our blanket… wait, where the fuck is she going? Is she leaving? She just closed the door! Seriously, what the fuck???