My dog Winston sleeps a lot. It's his third favorite thing after chasing his ball and waiting for his ball to be thrown.
Recently though, he's developed an unsettling habit of staring at me at 4:00 AM. It works like this. An ominous feeling enters my dreams. I sense a presence. Wake up panicked. And then realize it's my dog.
Perhaps my dog senses my deeply held fears of sleeping. I've always had trouble sleeping, since I was a little kid. I think it started in second grade when my babysitter let me watch Freddy Krueger and I learned that demonic janitors wanted to attack me in my sleep.
|Preferred by babysitters everywhere.|
Then in 4th grade I read Goosebumps. The book that really got me was about a boy that tortured ants, who then came back to torture him. I never tortured ants, but my house had a lot of bugs so it struck a chord as I was trying to fall asleep at night.
As I got into middle school, my parents decided that watching X-Files every Friday night would be a thing. Even the neighbor kids would come over and we'd make milkshakes as if the show wasn't the most terrifying thing a 12 year old could watch. It was then I developed my fears of alien abduction, which are very much with me today. In particular one scene that haunts me still:
A car is driving in the woods. Out of nowhere, there is a bright light. A UFO is hovering over the road. The car shuts down. Out come two creatures, short, with bulbous heads. Humanlike, but clearly not human. One approaches the drivers window. There is a pause that seems to last forever. Suddenly the alien shoots its hand out towards the window. Fade to black.
So when my dog is staring at me at 4:00 AM, this is who I'm really picturing.
|I have to pee. Take me outside, take me outside, take me outside!|