In my nightmare, a woman is pointing a gun. Still fuzzy upon awakening, I am relieved. I’m alive! Wait, what’s that? My nightgown is wet. Blood? Heart pounding, I switch on the night light. No, the hot water bottle has burst and soaked me, the sheets and the mattress. Rising from the puddle, I strip off my soggy nightclothes and don dry PJ’s.
My husband snores on, unaware. Hating to disturb him,I mound absorbent towels under the mattress pad and trek to the couch in the living room. I glance at the clock in passing; 2:10 a.m.
Our new couch is about a foot short of full stretch room, even for a short person like me. I cover myself with an afghan, fold my legs up and wait for the sandman.
Whoosh! whoosh! I rise up on one elbow. The sound emanates from the coffee pot. The instant brewing feature is gearing up for its morning task at this unearthly hour. The refrigerator turns on with strange creaking noises. The ice maker inside drops a load into the waiting tray. Surely, it isn’t this loud during the day.
I have invaded our two cats’ domain. Maggie, our furry senior citizen, abandons her perch on top of the sofa and settles down on the recliner. Soon, her snoring competes with the appliances.
Willow, our feline teenager hops up and stands on my side. “Hey, this is where I sleep.”
Finally, she settles, but then begins a slobbery grooming session, purposely designed to irritate.
I sigh, the digital clock tells me I have been attempting to return to sleep for almost two hours.
“May as well sit up and read,” I decide. I grab the “W” encyclopedia and chose a random page, welfare legislation in the United States, that ought to put me to sleep. Sure enough, I got as far as “The Problems of Unionization” and felt my eyelids drooping. I set the book aside and slid back down to surrender.
What seemed like moments later, I jerked awake. Some mechanized menace was banging and clattering outside. I gazed at the clock again. “Of course, an early five a.m. garbage collection.”
The cats were roused by all the commotion and their hunger alarms sent them to their feeding bowls. They crunched loudly and unmercifully on Meow Mix. Willow ate rapaciously and then came back in the living room to throw up on the carpet. Groaning, I climbed out of my warm nest, cleaned up the mess and went to the bathroom to wash my hands.
When I came back, after all the dark days we’d had, sunshine streamed through the sheer curtains behind the couch. I yanked the drapes closed, causing one side to come off the hanging pins and sag to the floor.
Tired and angry, I threw myself onto the couch. I tugged on the afghan which left my cold feet sticking out.
I stared up at the ceiling. A large, black spider was inching along above my head. I scrambled to a standing position, snatched up the encyclopedia and smashed. The carcass fell on me. I shrieked and turned the couch into a trampoline.,,I knew I’d never get back to sleep, so I gave up and started cleaning kitchen cupboards. The cats reclaimed the couch and promptly fell asleep.
About fifteen to seven, my husband meandered out in his robe, his hair spiked like a punk rocker.
“Hey, Honey, you’re up early.” He yawns and stretches. “I slept great. How about some bacon and eggs?”
Remember that nightmare I had. That woman with the gun might have been me.