BY SARA PALMER
“How’d ya sleep last night?” my oldest sister, Shannon asked in a sarcastic tone.
“Fine.” I replied, a little confused.
My middle sister, Heather was chuckling a little as she washed a dish in the sink, “birds,” she muttered under her breath.
It was at that moment that two things simultaneously happened. One, I immediately remembered the dream I had had the night before, and two, my mother was entering the kitchen.
“Good morning honey, did you get those birds out of your room?” she joked with a little smirk on her face.
“Real funny, mom, and you had to tell these two about it didn’t you?” I said, shooting my thumb in the direction of my sisters.
“So, how’d it go again?” questioned Shannon, “A bird was attacking you?”
“No!” I exclaimed, “It ran into my chest. I was trying to get out of my room and it hit me right in the chest.” My voice trailed off as I tried explaining; mostly because I was realizing I should have just kept my mouth shut.
As expected, everyone began to laugh as my ego stepped forward, and I nobly tried to further explain, “I think when I got out of bed, I ran into my door. It hit me right here,” I exclaimed tapping my fingers on my sternum.
“I can’t believe you still sleepwalk.” Said Heather finishing the dishes she had been rinsing off.
She was right though; I had been sleepwalking for years. I’m not sure exactly when it all started, but from the time I was out of a crib and had my own bed, I remember or technically don’t remember sleepwalking.
It became sort of a thing in one house we lived in, that my mother would wake up in the morning check my room, see that I wasn’t there, and go immediately down to the basement and find me sleeping on the couch down there. This was a little nerve-racking for her because, at such a young age and as unconscious as one is when sleepwalking. This meant that I was walking down two flights of stairs and passing the front door each night. It was a rarity that I would be found in my bed on any given morning.
As the years passed, the dreams would, of course, change to what was relevant in my life at the time. One experience that’s been mentioned from time to time, was of a morning when I got up at 3am, walked to the bathroom and began brushing my teeth. My mother heard me, got up to check on me and upon questioning what I was doing, found that I was convinced it was much later and we were all late for school. I was also apparently very upset about this due to the fact that no one else in the house seemed to care that we were going to be late for school. My mother then let me know that it was three in the morning, and that I had nothing to worry about and to go back to bed. I headed toward my room, but not before taking a sharp right, one door too soon, right into my sister Heather’s room, where I proceeded to curled up in her closet, door opened, feet hanging out and spend the rest of the evening there.
I do remember one dream pretty vividly; it was a reoccurring dream. It would always start out with me waking up and as my eyes began to open and fix on the ceiling, I would realize the ceiling was covered by a giant spider hanging upside down with its head right above mine. My first thought was always to run, to get out of my room, but I new I had to creep out slowly trying not to disturb the giant hanging above me. I would begin slithering out of my bed and just before my feet would hit the ground I would notice that the floor was covered in tiny little black spiders. So many that they were crawling all over each other and not one spot of the floor was showing through. I was stuck, trapped in my own bed, with the giant ceiling spider beginning to descend, because of course, it had sensed my movements. The dream never went any further than this before I would wake up scared, and immediately check the floor for spiders. Needless to say, I have a touch of arachnophobia to this day.
I don’t remember, the day, year, or how old I was when the sleepwalking suddenly stopped. But I will say that although some of the dreams were scary, even paralyzing at times, they were always extremely vivid and threw me into wildly imaginative worlds and I do miss that.
Sara Palmer is a an improviser-writer-storyteller based in the Phoenix, Arizona, area. Share your ideas for her next blog in the comments below.