By Heather O.
I’ve talked about how I have nightmares often. They usually stem from some version of THE MAN in my home or in my room. And they almost always involve a lot of screaming on my part.
One of those episodes occurred last night. Like I previously mentioned, we have discovered that the one place our dog won’t howl at night while also being kept in a place where he won’t chew the world the pieces is our bathroom. While it means relative peace and quiet at night, he does sometimes scrabble across the floor, and we can hear his little paws in there. In a doze (daze? A dozey daze?), I heard those scrabblings, and thought they were footsteps, and thought there was THE MAN stepping into our room, and I grabbed DH’s arm and screamed, “HELP!”
“There is nothing there. Go to sleep.”
Panicking, “Yes, there is! The Man in here! He’s in the room!”
“He’s not. Go to sleep.”
“How do you know he’s not??”
“Because, if he was, I would see him in the room.”
And it hit me like lightening, out of my daze, that DH can actually see at night. Not that he has, like, x-ray night vision goggle eyes or anything, but his vision isn’t as poor as mine. He really can tell if that dark shadow is a person or just a towel hanging on the bathroom door, whereas I can’t. Without contacts or glasses, I am really, really blind, and my cataracts mean my night vision, even with glasses, is deteriorating. I realized, in an instant, that this is one reason I feel so vulnerable at night.
I can’t see.
I realize that not seeing at night is a universal human problem, with us not being, you know, vampires and everything, but for those of us who need opthomalogic tools (I totally just made that word up, and I think it’s awesome), nighttime is especially blurry. I mean, I’m the kind of girl who always buy watches with an LED light, because I can’t see my alarm clock at night. The 2 feet from my bed on the nightstand is too far away, and it’s useless to me once I take out my contacts.
I have a vivid memory of a night when I was a kid, when I woke up and there was something white in the hallway. I couldn’t figure out what it was. I looked and looked, getting more and more scared, and I must have been really young because the idea of a ghost hanging out in the hallway, getting ready to eat me, was a very distinct possibility. The more I looked, the longer I waited for that ghost to strike, and the longer I waited, the more panicked I got, until I let out a scream loud and long enough to bring my mother running.
“What is that? What is that?” I cried to her, by this completely hysterical. She could not for the life of her figure out what I was talking about, until she took me by the hand, led me to the hallway, and pointed out that the white thing was a mattress that had been left in the hallway. (WHY there was a mattress in the hallway is a still a mystery I haven’t solved.)
It occurs to me, however, that if I had bothered to put my glasses on, I would have seen that it was a mattress, not a shapeless, sinister, killer white blob, and all kinds of nighttime shenanigans could have been avoided.
It makes me honestly wonder if I got Lasik, if my nightmares would stop. If The Man would go away, because finally, he wouldn’t be a shapeless, faceless blurry mass, he would be just the towel hanging on the door of the bathroom.
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