Monday, May 5, 2014

My Dog Stares Me Awake at 4:00 AM

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!

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