Seven Sleepwalking Stories
When I was a college freshman I got a really severe, Justin Vernon-esque case of mono that kept me ill for about three months. Even after I was mostly better, there was an aftermath. I lived in fear of getting roundhouse-kicked in my enlarged spleen. I had to get my tonsils removed, because scar tissue had left them forever swollen, making me abnormally susceptible to Strep throat and Tonsillitis. Also, I began sleepwalking. These are my sleepwalking chronicles.
March 2007: My roommate and I returned to our dorm room after a party one Friday night. I disrobed and remember lying down in the bottom bunk to watch television and go to sleep. I woke up the next morning on a couch in the laundry room, three floors down from where I lived. I was wearing nothing but a pair of boxer briefs. Bewildered, I sprinted up the steps two at a time until I got to our floor’s entrance. The door required a key to enter, which I had neglected to bring with me. Since it was seven in the morning on a Saturday, nobody was awake and I had to pound on the door for upwards of three minutes before my friend Matt let me in. He asked me what had happened — to which I had no answer — and then he laughed at my morning wood. I proceeded to bang on my room’s door for another five minutes, not knowing my roommate had left our room in the middle of the night to go visit a lady friend. I waited in my underwear in my neighbor’s room until he came back three hours later.
April 2007: I went to sleep in a girl’s bed after we had finished studying for (anatomy!) finals. I woke up with a start and jacked my head off of the bed frame. I had been sleeping underneath her bed. I was naked, with an erection and maybe a slight concussion.
May 2007: I was shaken awake by my roommate, who told me I needed to empty the wastebasket because it was starting to smell. I asked him why I had to do it, and he said because he didn’t want to, on account of it being filled with my urine.
September 2007: I went to sleep at my friend’s house after a back-to-school party. I woke up the next morning in bed with one of the tenants and his girlfriend. My feet were to their heads. I rolled off the bed and left quietly. This time, I didn’t have an erection (maybe).
December 2007: I went to sleep in my childhood bedroom a few days after Christmas, and was woken up around sunrise by my dad, who leaves for work at about the same time as the Gorton’s fisherman. I was outside lounging on our swimming pool deck. I wasn’t dressed adequately for the freezing weather, and was wearing a pair of sunglasses. I had apparently left the sliding glass door to our deck open, leading him to initially believe that an intruder was in our home.
August 2008: Again, in my childhood bedroom. My mom heard noises in the kitchen sometime in the early morning. She came upstairs to see what was the matter, and found me filling a glass of water from one of those five-gallon dispensers you probably have at your office (my family really values hydration). By her estimate, I had been filling it for about 10 minutes without moving, which meant it was overflowing and flooding the kitchen floor. She asked what I was doing, I looked at her, started laughing and stopped filling the glass, which I took with me to my bedroom and set on the nightstand. Then, laughing the entire time, I walked back out of the room, went into the bathroom and took a pee. Finally, I went back to bed.
The next morning, I walked into the kitchen to find it covered all over with towels. “What happened in here?” I asked. “You really don’t remember, do you?” Mom said. I had soaked the kitchen tiles all the way through, and water had been dripping down to the first floor. This was my most expensive sleepwalk.
December 2011: I went more than two years without sleepwalking, or at least without doing anything in my sleep that resulted in anything strange or destructive happening. But then I went to bed in my apartment on a Wednesday night. I woke up in the morning when my alarm went off. There was red wine all over my white carpet, and an open notebook on my chest. In the notebook I had written about four pages of shoddy but legible notes I was able to identify as ideas for a fictional story about a dude who is regularly abducted by aliens. He befriends one of them and teaches him all about the concept of love.
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Basically, if you depict actors playing anyone but themselves or show any group doing something they tend to do, you are enforcing racist stereotypes and you need to apologize.
2. We’re both broke.
Last night, we slept side by side with our hands reaching for each other, and today, I am leaving.
Those tears were tears of gratitude.