I am writing this post to let you know that I have been kidnapped, secretly, by evil forces which may or may not be associated with a governmental plot to overthrow something, and I am being tortured, slowly, as part of this secretive and confusing plan that shall not be named.
The kidnapping happens only at night, when it appears as though my body remains mostly sleeping in my bed but really I am transported to an alternate and frightening world where THERE. IS. NO. SLEEP. That is the central focus of this particular type of torture being inflicted upon my by the stealthy government ninjas. It begins soon after I tuck my preschooler and toddler into their beds – happy, cozy beds in warm, lovely rooms with footed pajamas, stuffed friends, nightlights and hand-knit blankies. Most people, you would think, would want to stay in those beds all night long, right? They are so cozy, so perfect, that there would be no logical reason to want to leave them, correct??? But I digress…
After I clean the kitchen, tidy the toys, make the lunches, bake the breakfast, feed the dog, and make a weak and ultimately ineffectual gesture toward staving off the hounding signs of old age – also known as 5 minutes of exhausted nightly toilette – I climb into bed next to Green Thumb and drift off. It is soon after that the alien torturers arrive, using a basic but unrelenting technique to strip me of any chance of recuperation from the day’s toils.
The first attack comes sometime after midnight, when I am about 10 minutes into solid sleep, precisely so that my awakening will take on it’s most confused, most disturbed, most jarring state possible. The secretive government freedom fighters tell me something about potty, but I can’t place their words into my usually elevated understanding of our English language, because my head is spinning sideways in a nauseating roller coaster of fatigue and disorientation.
I do the torturers’ bidding and stumble back into bed. I vaguely recall mumbling something about no waking up, perhaps a sloppily uttered threat about no watching Curious George the next day, no jelly beans for dessert. Have I begun communicating in their secret code? Thankfully, soon, I drift off once again, my mind fading into a peaceful cloud of rest.
But 19 minutes later, the infidels have returned. There is a loud siren-like noise – a wail, it seems. A high-pitched question delivered repeatedly: Why do I have to sleep? Why do have to stay in my bed? Whyyyyyyyyyyyy? As they howl, the covert agents attempt to overtake me in my bed, clawing my skin, hauling their shrunken bodies up onto my blankets, sucking me into their ship where I am overcome by bright nightlights and boogers.
Again, I manage to wrench myself away and find rest. But again, 28 minutes later, they return, shaking me ruthlessly out of deep slumber. They attempt to brainwash me with a story about a wolf, a terrifying wolf that appeared to them in their dreams and has forced them to come and kidnap me from mine. Even through my veil of desperate exhaustion, I can see they do seem upset. It must be a ploy, I tell myself, a common government tactic to disorient me so they can suck my lifeblood into their vials and use it for scientific experimentation back on their planet.
After three more session of harsh awakenings and anxious dormancy, when I’m at the end of my rope and ready to self-actualize onto a higher plane of suffering, the torturers finally ease up. I sleep from 4:33 to 6:55 a.m., knowing that somwehere, in their cozy mountain caves, disguised under hand-knit blankies, they are plotting the next night’s revenge.