Sleep deprivation has been known to do more than just make me tired and cranky. Or so my husband insists on reminding me.
We had not been married long when late one night, after a long, stress-filled, sleepless week as the society editor at a small town daily newspaper, I shot up in bed, wildly pointed at the ceiling and screamed, "There's a bobcat in the rafters! There's a bobcat in the rafters!"
A startled, bewildered John flew out of bed and was staggering about, only to watch me collapse upon my pillow, snoring and slumbering away as if nothing had happened.
John slept with one eye open the rest of the night. I dare say it wasn't a bobcat he feared.
I remembered nothing of the incident.
Another late night a few weeks later -- again, after a long, stessful, sleepless week spent editing society news (oh, those card club ladies could be menacing) -- I jumped up from a deep sleep, took off on a dead run heading straight for our winding staircase. Fortunately, the railing stopped me, I spun around, ran back to the bed, climbed in and went to sleep.
John just watched in disbelief. What else could he do?
The next morning I was shocked to discover a huge bruise on my right hip. "Oh my gosh! How did I get this bruise?" I asked aloud. "You mean you don't remember your run in with the railing? John asked.
Nope. No recollection.
A year or so later, different apartment, we were sort of camped out with our bed pillows on the living room floor one night in front of the TV. I had to get up early in the morning to finish writing a feature story, so I decided to go to bed. John asked if he could keep my pillow, promising me he would bring it to me in a few minutes after the show we were watching ended.
Sure, why not. So I let him keep my pillow and I sweetly toddled off to bed.
John, of course, figuring I would fall asleep and forget all about my pillow, hunkered back down in front of the TV.
"Honey, where's my pillow?" he heard me yell from the bedroom about 10 minutes later.
John begrudgingly brought my pillow to my bedside where he found me sound asleep and snoring ever so daintily. Figuring I was certainly down for the count this time, he tiptoed out of the bedroom, my pillow still in hand, and went back to watching TV.
John had barley snuggled back into camp out mode when he heard me callout once again, sounding a tad annoyed.
"Honey, I need my pillow."
Oh, for crying out loud. John once more traipsed to the bedroom with my pillow. And once more he arrived at my bedside only to find me sound asleep. Arghghghghgh. He'd had enough. He tossed the pillow on the bed and went back to watch TV.
About 15 minutes later, he felt someone staring at him from the hall but a few feet away.
He slowly turned his head to look.
Yikes! There I stood, naked, arms folded across my chest, tapping my right foot, glaring at him.
"I bet you don't even know where the butterfly net is!" I sneered.
"Um, no, but oh, how I wish I did," John replied.
And at that I turned on my heel, careened into the wall, bounced off, and then staggered my way down the rest of the hall toward the bedroom, where John found me peacefully asleep in bed mere seconds later.
I had no recollection of my late-night antics the next morning.
Thankfully, I haven't had a rip-roaring bobcat-and-butterfly-net episode in 30 years. Even so, I couldn't blame John for seeming just a teeny bit anxious recently when it became obvious that trying to fit my 40 Days of Writing around my tiring work schedule was keeping me up late, thus depriving me of some much needed zzzzzz.
Might also explain the small rubber mallet he now keeps with him at all times.