I’ve never been much of a sleep walker. More of a sleep talker, which I guess can get pretty creepy, too. One of my best friends and former roommate used to get really freaked out when I’d sit up in the middle of the night and ask for a hairbrush.
“I thought you were possessed by the devil,” she’d say.
Um, sorry Deb.
My sister Elizabeth used to sleep walk and talk, as I remember. When we were moved from Hawai’i to Virginia, we road-tripped it from coast to coast. Each night when we’d stop at a motel, our parents would get two rooms – one for them, and one for us kids. One night, Beth jumped out from under the covers and onto the foot of the bed. She crouched down in perfect surfer form, arms outstretched, and sang a quick rendition of “Wipe Out” (think Animal from the Muppets). Then she sorta woke up, looked around, and started crying.
I’m pretty sure my other two sisters and I got in trouble for upsetting her. Although I have to say that she was about 6 at the time, and I’m sure we were pointing and laughing.
But anyway, I’m beginning to suspect that lately I’ve taken my sleep activities to a whole new level, and the saddest part is that I may have involved little Ernie in these night-time shenanigans.
Sunday evening, while enjoying a delicious gyro with friends at the Greek Fest (where I saw an honest-to-goodness young Michael Bolton – more about this later), I notice a thumb-sized bruise on each of my upper arms.
Huh, I wondered. I don’t remember getting manhandled this weekend.
Monday morning, poor baby Ernie is moping around the house. As his usual morning routine includes waking me up around 6:00 with a sneeze to the face, followed by pacing around the house and zooming around the backyard, I suspected something was up. I checked each of his feet for cuts or burrs, then palpated his abdomen to check for swelling or hardness. Nothing.
Then I started manipulating his hips, and he started whimpering. I guess you have to know Ernie to know that this is a big deal. He’ll cry and get all excited when he sees someone he loves (read: anyone he’s ever met, even once), but he does not cry out in pain. Even when he ripped his whole toenail off, he didn’t cry. The only reason I knew something was up was that he was lick, lick, licking his poor, nail-less foot next to me on the couch.
Anyway, back in the present day. Ernie was slowly walking around the backyard, head down and ears back. He wasn’t limping, and he successfully one’d and two’d, so I watched him hobble onto the couch and left for work.
By Wednesday he was fine – verdict: muscle strain.
BUT THEN, on Tuesday morning I found a bruise and a cut on my side. I’m pretty much convinced that Ernie and I have been drafted as ninja enforcers by an organization so secret even we don’t know about it. It makes perfect sense, if you think about it:
- I’ve been going to the gym, transforming myself into a lean, mean, fighting machine. If you could see these biceps, you’d be intimidated. Trust me.
- Ernie is very strong and agile, and can be pretty stealthy when he wants to (Dexter…strong, but gets failing grades in agility and stealth).
- Warm weather + poverty = no AC. But I do have my bedroom window open to get some air flow at night. I think it is through this window that They initially made contact. I also think this is my ninja exit/entrance, as my keys remain where my waking mind left them (plus, ninjas do not have pockets, and jingling keys ≠ stealth).
As further evidence, I present to you the fact that I’ve woken up at 2:50am for the past 4 nights, and haven’t been able to get back to sleep.