We had a little bit of excitement around the ol’ homestead last evening. Well, more properly, “early this morning.”
Please understand that I can relate much of what follows, of necessity, not by way of a clearly-remembered first hand account, but rather by way of a careful post facto reconstruction of events worthy of the efforts of the FAA aviation accident investigation team.
It was approximately 2:30 in the morning. Spouse and I were tucked away in our bed. Spouse slumbered peacefully, recuperating from the trials and tribulations of another work day. Meanwhile, I was having some sort of a nightmare. I cannot now tell you the nature of my nocturnal torment; perhaps I was under attack by a horde of irate rabbits; it is possible that I was being stalked by a murderous piano tuner; maybe, I dreamt that Curtis Joseph was going to start the next game in goal for the Leafs. Whatever the particulars of the threats presenting themselves to my unconscious mind, I was clearly on edge and sleeping fitfully.
In an unfortunate confluence of timing and coincidence, it would seem that – at the exact moment, mind you, of some critical importance and mortal threat in the midst of my nightmare – either Spouse shifted in the bed or Henry jumped on top of me. Something living touched my legs, and this event in the real world, taken in the context of the horrors unfolding inside my troubled little skull, was sufficient to provoke an immediate, determined and physical response.
In a flash, I sat bolt upright in bed and began literally shrieking at the top of my lungs. At the same time, I whipped off the covers and began to physically bolt from my designated place of repose.
Poor Spouse was like a firefighter. She went from snoozing quietly to emergency response in a heartbeat, grabbing me by the arm and holding firm to prevent me from sprinting out of the room and down the darkened hallway, yelling “What’s wrong?” to me and – it must be said – attempting to wake me up. I have to confess that I more or less slowly became aware of the fact:
- that I was hollering bloody murder as though my hair were on fire;
- that I was attempting to flee down a darkened hallway for no apparent reason;
- that I had apparently been engaged in this process for some period of time prior to waking up; and
- that there was no way to pretend that the above-mentioned events had not occurred.
In case something like this ever happens to you – in case you ever suddenly and involuntarily begin shrieking in full throat while in close proximity to your gently napping partner or spouse – let me give you a piece of advice: in the aftermath of this incident, when your spouse or partner is attempting to gather together what little remains of her shattered nerves, clutching her heart and hyperventilating, do NOT attempt to consider the comedy inherent in the circumstances. It may be somewhat insensitive of you to begin giggling about the whole affair until after your loved one’s recovery is full and complete and she too can begin to appreciate the extraordinary humour that one might perceive in these events, when safely removed from imminent danger by an appropriate length of time.
One little bonus feature of last night’s events: Spouse and I now have reason to believe that, as a sprinter, I am remarkably quick off the line.