Sleep Talkin’ Me

Back a few months ago, Steve said he hoped I wouldn’t be like Jenna Evans and swallow anything in my sleep because I’ve become quite elaborate in the things I say and do, mostly say, once I’ve headed off to the land of Nod. I’ve been meaning to write down the totally weird and wacky things that have come out of my mouth while sleeping. I don’t think I could make an album out of them, but they’re reaching Dion McGregor level amounts of complexity.

I remember doing some of these things, but of the things I remember, I always wake up in the middle of them. Sometimes, when I wake up, I totally understand why I’m saying or doing it. But before I can put it into anything sensible for myself or anyone else, the reason for it quickly fades away and I’m left with a sense of “Dear lord, what did I just say? I’m so totally going to get teased for this until the end of time. Great!” Once I expressed this by saying some gibberish, and then I heard Steve ask me what I just said, and all I could manage was “It’s disintegrating…It’s broken…it’s gone.”

That seems to be the most common theme. Either I’ll feel like I desperately need to convey something and then lose the plot mid sentence, or I’ll wake up to many questions and a lot of giggling. Once, I vaguely remember flailing my arms and saying “I’m strugglin’!” But I couldn’t express anything more than that, and to this day I don’t know what the struggle was all about. Another time, I fell asleep in front of the TV and “Dr. Oakley, Yukon Vet” was on. I woke up suddenly convinced that I had lost the controller for her blow darts, and it was tied to a cable that went up my shirt, so I was going to lose my shirt. Steve heard me frantically searching around me. When he asked me what I was looking for, I realized that I was doing something dumb, and the whole thing melted around me and I was left feeling pretty confused.

But I think the most bizarre and elaborate one of these was one where I was happily sleeping away, and then I woke up and I got a hold of Steve’s arm and I seemed to be insistently showing him my neck. At the point where I woke up, I was trying repeatedly to say “The Niagara tag!” and was imagining a sticky tag like you see on products you buy, but on my neck. Then the logical part of me said “What the hell are you talking about? What Niagara tag? You just woke Steve up again…this is a doozer!” But the point where I woke up was much later than when this started. According to Steve, we were happily sleeping when I grabbed his arm and plunked his hand on my neck and yelled “behold!” Confusedly, he mumbled “Nice esophagus?” And I kept on rollin’. “It’s the Niagara tag! It’s the thing that killed that guy! I ripped it off! there’s the sticky spot! There would have been a hole soon!” When he started to ask me more questions, that’s when I awoke and the whole story fell apart. I have more, but that one’s the longest and funniest in terms of waking up in the middle of doing something and not knowing why I’m doing it.

And then there are the ones where I wake up after, and hear myself saying something, and think “I think that’s my voice…oh yes it’s my voice and people are giggling. What did I say?” One of the most memorable was one where apparently I said “Be careful! They did the same thing to the grey iPod a few minutes ago! Grab a hold of my scoozy eyebrows!” Scoozy? So I make up words in my sleep that even I don’t know what they mean. I have so many questions for myself. Who are they? What did they do to the grey iPod? And how would grabbing a hold of my eyebrows, scoozy or not, help anyone? All of that is lost to history and dreamland me.

Another time, I think I heard my printer making those whirring noises it makes from time to time. I have no idea what it’s doing. But it incorporated itself into my dream and Steve said I said “There it goes. That’s the sound when it goes. It’s Big Dale Coobietail and the Electric Big Dogs!” Coobietail? Is that like cottontail? It sounds like a very strange band.

But the Electric Big Dogs made it into real life. On the weekend when I babysat a friend’s guide dog, I found myself calling him Big Dale because he had a big waggy tail, and once Steve woke up and wondered where the dogs were at and said “Where are the electric big dogs?”

I’m afraid to share hotel rooms with people because of these outbursts in my sleep. One time, we had some friends over and I groggily asked everyone if they were working on their mysteries yet, and said that Shirley made “Shooker dookies”. There I go making up words again. At least I could figure out that “shooker dookies” were sugar cookies and Shirley was someone from a book I had read. Working on my mysteries, though, is still a mystery.

Or maybe I’ll begin sliding myself down the bed, squishing myself into a little ball saying “I’m trying to make myself small, because “a little man came up to my head and said ‘dzzzt! I’m trying to make myself small.’ and I said ‘You can’t make yourself that small. I’ll show you!'” Yup, I did that one too. There’s nothing like waking up to Steve saying “But you already are small.” and wondering why I’m off the pillow and all scrunched up under the blankets.

But the most dramatic one in this category has to be the one where I woke up to my arms flailing, convinced that geese were hitting me on the head, and Steve couldn’t stop laughing. Apparently I had lifted my head off the pillow and started saying “Stupid stupid things!” and then saying something like “Pooca pooca pooc pooc pooc!” while flailing my arms around. After much incomprehensible speech where I just kept saying “camping, grandpa, grandpa, grandpa, mom!” I managed to explain that I was dreaming that a few of us were out in the woods camping, and Brad was yelling out to us to try and find us, and this had apparently summoned a gaggle of angry geese who were now falling out of the sky and hitting me in the head. This explains the exclamation of “stupid things” and the arm flailing, but “Pooca pooc?” We don’t know. Our best guess is that I was imitating the birds. Whatever it means, when we do something stupid, or someone else does, we say “Pooca pooc!”

I have terrible timing with some of these outbursts. Steve will be having a really good night of sleep, and suddenly I’m grabbing his arms or going “pooca pooc” or being way too excited that it’s after 4! I have no memory of that one. But one night, we had been dragged from our sleep when water started coming into our bedroom and drenching my computer. After we got things settled down, we went back to sleep and I woke him up with a loud utterance of “Fudge buckets!” The poor guy was suddenly afraid we had a new leak and I had heard it, kind of like that time I asked Trixie “Are ya done pukin’?” But no. I was just having some stupid dream where we just got the dogs cooled off and now they’re pouring stuff on them. I explained all of this, except for the part where it was a dream. I still don’t remember that dream, but it was apparently very upsetting to me at the moment.

Recently, all Steve had to do to set me off was roll over. Then I started yelling “Aaa! Someone’s running away! Someone’s not okay!” I have no memory of this one, but when he asked me if I was dreaming, I said “I don’t think so.” and continued sleeping. How nice of me to ruin his peaceful slumber and then go back to sleep. I think that might have come from an incident earlier that night when I was out for a sniff walk with Tansy, and some guy yelled at us, I think for getting too close to him but I’m not sure. It must have still been bothering me.

There have been a few cases where I have gotten up and started walking around. Those are never good. One time, I fell asleep in front of the TV, stood up, and started shuffling nowhere in particular. Steve asked what I was up to, and I flopped back down on the couch again and only managed to say “I’m having a stupid.”

Another time, I got up and said “I fucked something up. I have to fix it!” Now I’m swearing in my sleep. Also not good.

I have this recurring theme of being afraid people can see some part of me through the window and that’s a horrible thing. Here was another case where I made up words. It was super hot out, and Steve found me covering myself up in blankets saying “Not this again! That’s the yimshy view!” I think yimshy meant not good or undesirable or something, but I’m not sure. I just knew in that moment that I had to hide as much of me as possible under blankets, even though I didn’t really want to have them on.

Or there was the time I got up in the middle of the night and walked over to my desk saying something about “That’s what I forgot. I forgot to hit the dragon button.” That was one time I woke up in the middle of it thinking “What exactly are you trying to do?” But I had a couple of moments where I was sure I was doing something completely logical…until it became clear I wasn’t.

Another time, I fell asleep on the couch, and suddenly woke up and started checking my pockets and everything else and yelled “Yup! It’s all here! It worked!” At least in that case, I was able to explain that I must have been dreaming about a book I was reading about a teleportation device, and in the dream, I was testing it. But that took me a good few seconds to realize that the dream wasn’t real, and nobody else would have a clue what I’m talking about.

But I think the weirdest sleepwalking incident happened years ago after one of our New Year’s parties. Everyone had left and Steve was on the computer and I had fallen asleep. Then, suddenly I was on my feet, shuffling towards him, wobbling around and muttering something that sounded like “Sneak…devil devil…sneak…sneak…devil…devil…sneak…thing!” and searching haphazardly on the desk. I don’t remember any of this, but after I bonked into the filing cabinet, he managed to get a hold of me, and then I yelled “Aaaa! I’m awake!” I totally wasn’t because I don’t remember anything. He got me back to bed and then asked me about it later. It was only then that I remembered dreaming that a friend had left a recording device in our house and I must have decided I was going to find it.

And this isn’t the whole list. I took some of the more boring ones out. Maybe I could make an album after all.

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  1. You definitely covered a lot of the really good ones here.

    And you also very definitely swear in your sleep now. I wish I could remember more about the recent one where all of a sudden you were super upset about…something.

    “Oh for fuck’s sake! Why! Why would they do that?! Jesus Christ! God Damn it!”

    I’m positive there was more, but I wasn’t quite aware enough in time to be able to commit it to memory.

  2. Very early this morning, I awoke to a question. Carin was asking somebody, perhaps me but I don’t know, “how would you like to be the one to take the mice and the geese home?” As usual, she was not able to explain to me what she was talking about, but she did insist that she was dreaming about something.

  3. I’ve decided that I’m going to do my best to write any new ones down here. That way if Carin ever decides a sequel post is needed there’s a starting point, and if one isn’t then at least they’re still preserved someplace.

  4. Carin: *Unintelligible things that likely would have been words were I more awake.*
    Me: What’s up? You ok?
    Carin: I’m saying things in my sleep again. *Immediately returns to lightly snoring.*

    She had no memory of saying that come morning.

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