For as long as I can remember, I have feared going to the bathroom in the middle of the night. When I was little, I was scared to get out of my bed, convinced that something/someone, would reach out from under my bed, as my foot hit the floor, and grab me. To make matters worse, I had a crippling fear of the dark, which didn’t really help matters. If could have slept in a well-lit room, I would have been much happier. It was so bad, that I would, seriously, cry for my parents to come get me and TAKE me to the bathroom.
As I’ve grown and matured (*cough*), I still have the same pervasive fear of going to the bathroom in the middle of the night…not because I fear the hand under the bed, although, that is some seriously scary shit, right there…but because I am terrified that once I go, I won’t be able to get back to sleep. This fear, it seems, is not without merit.
For some reason, while I am a logical to a Spock-like extreme in daylight hours, I am a giant mess once the sun goes down. Ironically, the adult me is no longer afraid of the dark, but, for some reason, once the sun goes down, and the house is still…everything bad becomes possible. In the last week alone, whilst laying awake, apres pee, I’ve convinced myself that the following things were going to happen or were happening…
*The lump in my breast was caused by putting my cell phone in that exact spot for so many years, and at some point…it is going to turn on me. (I’ve had multiple mammograms and ultrasounds…it’s just fat…like my ass.)
*The IRS is going to disagree with my medical expenses, and how am I supposed to survive a cigarette-based economy, when I have never smoked?
*My sons will fall victim to a freak boating accident while bass fishing with their grandparents. They got that trip for their birthday, and now it will be their undoing. What if they didn’t even like fishing, and now I have to live with the fact that they were offed while being underwhelmed.
*My iPad charger will set fire to my house…I’ve wasted hours of my life playing Candy Crush, and now we’re all going up in flames as a result.
*My HOA captain has a secret key to my house and/or a camera stashed in my vents. (Although, truth be told…this could TOTALLY be true; he’s a freak.)
*I have HIV. I totally have it, and it’s just hiding. That sonnuvabitch gave it to me before I could divorce him.
In the morning, with my cold, logical heart firmly in my chest…these things do not even occur to me, but for some reason, in the dark of night…all bad things are possible. I have discovered, in the last couple of years, that to combat this, and to get myself back to sleep, I have to fixate my thoughts on something that is not only fairytale-ish and ridiculous, but also devoid of associated tragedies. So, if you’re awake tonight, at say…3am…know that somewhere I am laying in bed, bladder freshly emptied, thinking about the butterfly farm that I’m operating, out of an enormous castle, because if I’m going to lose an hour thinking about something ridiculous…there better be some fucking butterflies involved.