Staring into the Darkness

May 13th, 2018

“How do you sleep? How do you sleep at night?” – John Lennon

Karin came to bed a little after 11:00 PM. She brought the dogs along with her. Shocky finds her place on the floor, and Sara whines until she can climb up on to the comforter. Sara is thirteen years old, and she struggles now to jump on the bed. I’m not sure how we will manage once she is too old to get up at all.

I go to bed early. Karin is a night owl. I am usually in bed for a couple hours before Karin decides to to call it a night. Once Karin got settled, she kissed my forehead and said,

“You had another nightmare. This one wasn’t too loud, so I didn’t try to wake you up.”

I mumbled, “Yeah.” It is not unusual for me to have nightmares early in my sleep cycle. Sometimes, I just struggle though them. Sometimes, I scream and thrash about, to the extent that Karin fears for my safety. She’s grown used to these episodes.

There was a thunderstorm in progress when Karin came to bed. We have a skylight in the bedroom, and I can stare straight up through it as I lie on my back. The rain splattered on the glass, and I could see the flashes of lightning in the night sky. Immediately following the flashes came the deep rumble of thunder. As accompaniment, the two sump pumps in the basement took turns pushing water through a PVC pipe to the outside of the house. All in all, the conditions weren’t conducive to going back to sleep.

As I was lying there, I heard my cell phone vibrate. So, who is texting me at 11:30 at night? “Hmmmmm, I better check.” I got up and found my phone.

The text was from Hans.

He wrote, “I just watched 12 whatever it’s called. It’s about the guys in Iraq and it started bringing up memories and I am starting to be stressed.”


I wrote back to him, “Try to relax”. That was kind of a useless thing to say, but I had nothing else.

Hans replied, “I am trying. We should have just killed all them fuckers.”

I texted back to him, “Hug your puppy.”

I could have told him to hug his fiancee, but she might be asleep already, and perhaps not interested in being hugged. Odds are good that Hans went outside, and smoked a couple Pall Malls and/or slammed some Lime-a-ritas. Hugging his dog seemed to be the best answer available. Hans loves dogs. They love him.

I got back in bed, and stared into the darkness. Sleep eluded me.

Hans didn’t text back. Hopefully, he’ll call today to talk with Karin. It is Mothers Day after all.

I hope that, eventually, he slept well.







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