I woke up at 3:45am this morning with the sensation that someone was tapping on my ankle. It had been a dream and there was no one there, but I was reminded of this other rude awakening, a frequently-retold but never-committed-to-writing tale of my unquiet solitary sleepitude <—(made-up word)
I came to wakefulness gradually and grudgingly. It was still pitch-black in my bedroom, meaning I probably had a few more hours to sleep before I had to be anywhere. I usually kind of enjoyed this wee-hour wakefulness because it meant I got to drift off and sleep a little more.
Only this time, I was coming to with a sense of heaviness on me. Something was lying on my shoulder. My groggy brain came to the realization that it had the heft of a living thing about the size and shape of a very large rat.
I began to scream inarticulately and swat at the thing on my shoulder in the darkness. I scored enough glancing blows to realize it was fleshy and warm and had something like knuckles. My first thought was of the gross, arachnoid face-huggers that Ripley and Newt fight in the famous scene from the movie Aliens.
Nope. Nope, nope, nope. I launched out of bed, rocketed out of my room, slammed the door behind me, and turned on every light in the apartment. My heart was racing. I could taste adrenaline. I looked down the hall at the closed door of my bedroom, half-expecting a shambling knock to come from the other side.
Nothing happened. I waited. Pins and needles crept into my arm. Should I go back into the room? I had behaved pretty unmanly, but this wasn’t like investigating a thumping noise downstairs … I had woken up with something unidentifiable and organic on my shoulder.
The pins and needles intensified. I realized my arm must have been entirely asleep, pinned under my body to the point where blood was cut off, possibly to the point where I had lost sensation and would not have motor control until the blood rushed back in …
… and then my mind began to put together an alternate, more plausible story of what had been sitting on my shoulder. This new story gave me the courage to re-enter my room, and was confirmed by the absence of any animals or xenomorphs therein.
In my sleep, I had rolled over onto my arm and pinned it under myself with my elbow cocked in a half-hug around my torso, my hand flopped limply on my shoulder. Arteries pinched and constricted by the weight of my chest, I had lost feeling in my arm, so that when I woke up I was unable to control my hand, or even sense it as attached to my body.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, on that particular night of my bachelor life, I woke up terrified and got into a fight with my own hand.
Does Paul need a wife to keep him from accidentally killing himself? Comment below.