Walkin’ After Midnight

When I was young I had a problem with sleepwalking. Sometimes I would sit straight up in bed and say something strange, lie back down again, and not remember anything about it in the morning.

Once, my mother walked into the kitchen and there I was, pushing against the counter with all my might. She asked me what I was doing and I said, “Help me bail! Help me bail!” She somehow convinced me to go back to bed, and again, I had no memory of it in the morning.

Probably the worst incident, though, was the time my mother and I took a trip and we were staying in a motel. I had gone to sleep in the nude, and the next thing I knew I was standing on the outdoor walkway, stark naked. It was late at night and no one was around, but the problem was I couldn’t remember our room number. So I started pounding on the nearest door, and this lady pulled her curtain aside. She was wearing a housecoat, had cold cream on her face and huge curlers in her hair. It was like she had popped right out of the 1950s, and her eyes were as big as pie plates. Needless to say that wasn’t my room, so I had no choice but to knock on the next door. Thank God it was the right one this time and I was able to bolt inside before being arrested for indecent exposure. That’s when my mother told me that when she was my age, she’d sometimes wake up outside of her house. At least I come by it honestly, I suppose.

After that I didn’t sleep walk for years. Well, not that I know of, anyway. Then when I was 21 I moved into a studio apartment and woke up sitting in the doorway of the closet in front of one of my open suitcases. I was throwing sweaters over my shoulder. I turned around and the room was covered in clothing. I have no idea why I was doing that, but I decided that maybe I should stop sleeping in the nude for a while.

That was the last time I ever walked in my sleep to my knowledge. I still occasionally talk in my sleep, though. It’s a little disconcerting to know there are moments when I am totally out of control. And it makes me wonder what I’ve done that I don’t know about. Fortunately, I’ve reached an age where it takes a heck of a lot to make me self-conscious or embarrassed.


(Picture Credit: sleep-walker (Tomáš Čech) · GitHub)

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