01 September 2011

night-time crazy

I woke up standing on my bed, pushing on the wall, throwing all my weight and muscle power into it. 

Actually, "woke up" is not the correct phrase.

As with every other time something bizarre has happened in the middle of the night, I was well-aware what was going on the whole time.

I was awake. 

My eyes were open. 

It's just that my brain was convinced of some alternate reality. 
I should probably back up a little bit here, huh? 


I am not a sleepwalker.

{I'm Kamiah Walker.  Funny!  Get it?!?!  I have been making walking jokes for years with my last name, and I predict that it will never get old.}

I'm more of a late-night crazy thinker, which is the only time the phrase "late-night" will ever be applied to me.

See, every month or so, I sit straight up in bed, awake, convinced that something rather impossible is happening.  In the past, I have thought:
  • that I needed to help load a van:  I got dressed and rushed outside.  I was late for the van loading, but I still took the time to brush my hair and pull it back in a ponytail.  Regardless of the fact that it was the middle of the night, I needed to keep up appearances.  When I got outside, I {not surprisingly} found no van.  I thought, 'Well, they'—sidenote: who were they? I still don't know—'must be late.  Now I have time to rest.'  And then I sat down on the front step and waited; I will not tell you how long.
  • that my friends Katie and Rachel were staying the night:  And I had gone to bed without a) saying goodnight, b) showing them where they were going to sleep, or c) making the bed. I felt, as you may guess, intensely guilty about this.
    'I'm a horrible hostess,' I chastised myself as I sprang from bed. It was winter, and in the winter, my apartment drops to 58 degrees at night {you can call me cheap; I call myself frugal and in love with burrowing under five blankets as if I were in Little House on the Prairie}. 'Who invites guests over and then tries to freeze them out after expecting them to make their own bed? Terrible, terrible hostess.'

    I bumped the thermostat up to 68 degrees, and then rushed to the linen closet to gather up extra blankets. I paused at the door to the guest room. It'd be creepy, I decided, to actually put the blankets on them, as if I were pretending to be their mother and was checking on them in the middle of the night. Acting quickly, I pulled open the door and threw in the blankets.

    'They'll wake up and find the blankets on the floor and take back all their nasty thoughts about how I'm a bad hostess,' I thought as I climbed back in bed, plotting out what I would make them for breakfast in the morning to further cement my hostess-with-the-mostess-ness. I don't know why I assumed that my very good friends were thinking very bad thoughts about me, but at this point, I think that should be the least of my concerns about my thought process. 
  • that a hand was coming through my bedroom window:  I told myself that if I hid under the covers, then the hand couldn't find me.

    And really, that makes a lot of sense. A disembodied hand doesn't have eyes; even a very small child knows that. I smiled to myself as I flattened my back against the mattress. 'He'll never get me now!' I thought with glee.

    Which inevitably leads to the question: How did I know it was a man's hand?

    Oh, it was clear. The nails were ragged and the hand was large and looked like it could palm a football. So clearly a man's hand.

    I slid out of bed, still under the covers, and then crawled—yes, on my hands and knees—to baby pug's room. {Yes, she has her own room. Okay, it's actually the same as the guest room featured in the "Katie and Rachel are sleeping over" adventure, but since she came at Christmas time, it's been her room.}

    I figured that if I could get Miss Daisy to protect me from the hand, I'd be set.

    Because everyone knows that disembodied men's hands are frightened of little pugs who wear pink collars.

    "Shhh, Miss Daisy, it's okay," I whispered. Whispering was important because even if the hand couldn't see me, it could hear me. I just knew it. "Okay, you're going to come with Mia," I told her as I eased open her kennel and tucked her under one arm.

    Crawling with a pug is difficult, by the way, even a sleepy one. Whispering to her about how you need protection doesn't make the job any easier.

You may, at this point, be concerned for my safety, and for that I say thank you. But rest assured, I've never harmed myself or caused harm to someone else. This brings me some level of comfort / quells the panic / pushes down the idea that I should have a sleep study done.

Actually, I'm more concerned for the logic that works on me in the middle of the night. At no point do I say to myself, 'Kamiah, this is not happening. There is no hand. Katie and Rachel aren't here. Don't worry about how cold it is in here and how people think you're a bad hostess. All this is in your head.'

No, instead, I talk myself out of it like this: 'Kamiah, you can go back inside now because the van isn't coming. You probably missed the pick-up because you were running late.'


It's lying. It's some sort of alternate reality. It's night-time crazy, and I don't know why the crazy comes out then.

Take this wall incident, for example. I woke up convinced that my walls were bowing in, and I needed to push back on them to prevent them from exploding. Hence the whole standing on the bed in the middle of the night and straining against the wall thing.

I was pretty sure that the walls were bowing because of the change in air pressure from Hurricane Irene, and here's how I talked myself out of pushing on the walls for the whole night: 'Kamiah, hurricane Irene was downgraded to a tropical storm. Also, it's already passed and moved into Canada. Finally, I don't care how many push-ups you can do, you will never be able to keep a wall from exploding. Now go to sleep.'

Why doesn't my brain say to me, 'Kamiah, YOU LIVE IN THE MIDWEST. There are no hurricanes here. You're going night-time crazy again, so get it together and go back to bed.'

But my brain never says that. In the middle of the night, it never says the logical thing, and I wake up the next morning with vivid memories of night-time adventures.  And then I very logically get out of bed and go about my day.


  1. I love your blog.

    Daniel has been having dreams lately that I have cut my hair really short or dyed it another color and he is so mad because he loves it long and red right now. Then he wakes up angry at me, and I'm like "I didn't cut it! Look!"

    So I think sleep makes us all a little crazy. :-)

  2. At least I know I'm not the only one who hides under the covers if something scares me! Although I don't think I would have worked up the courage to crawl to my little pug's room...

  3. This cracks me up.

    I've had vivid dreams in which Steve Slagg was so aggravating that I've stayed irritated with him for days before saying anything to him about it. Then, when I get annoyed enough that I need to confront him, my accusations sound insane.

  4. I am somewhat reassured, I will admit, to know that I'm not alone in my crazy night antics...!



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