It is a known fact I have an active sleep pattern. Not only do I talk in my sleep but I have a habit of getting up and moseying about. It is so bad that when installing an alarm at my childhood home, my mother intentionally kept motion sensors away from my side of the house.
“Would you be opposed to wearing a bell around your ankle?” my mom asked back when I was heading off to college.
“Um, yes. Yes, I would.”
My mom feared I’d wander outside in the middle of the night, cross a street and be struck by a car. Or at least this is what she claimed was her concern. To be honest, I’m certain her biggest fear was someone judging me for wearing tattered old t-shirts and boxers to bed.
While I can genuinely laugh at this curious behavior, it isn’t always funny. Like, on more than on occasion, I have found myself standing at my bathroom sink washing my hands or brushing my teeth. Staring at my reflection in the mirror, I start to come awake and see that what I am doing makes no sense. And yet, I cannot wake enough to halt my actions. It feels like my brain and my body are two different entities, thereby triggering a panic attack of epic proportions.
For the most part, I have two preferred activities in my sleep. One is to patter toward my apartment’s front door and fiddle with the locks, making sure they are secure. The other is to hide my jewelry box. My obsession with locking my door isn’t such a problem. Sure, it’s annoying waking up in the middle of night as I struggle to slide the chain into position. But no harm has come from this effort. I have, however, had some issues with my jewelry.
You see, in the last few months, I have hid it so well I was unable to find it in the morning. Creative hiding spots have included the bottom of my hamper and under my bed. I have recently added a new hiding spot: under the pillow on the other side of my bed. In all instances, I could not locate my jewelry until I did my laundry (voila!) or made my bed (kicking the jewelry box while tucking in the sheet or revealing it while fixing the pillows).
“I think I might have a cavity,” I said to my dentist as he poked around in my mouth.
“Everything looks good. Have you been grinding your teeth at night?”
“Huh, now that you said that, I have awakened a few times with my lower front teeth achy and sore.”
“Yeah, you’ve been grinding or clenching. Try a mouth guard from your local pharmacy. If that doesn’t work, we can make one for you here.”
I didn’t bother stopping at the drug store on my way home. It was too depressing thinking about wearing headgear while hiding my jewelry from non-existent thieves. A mouth guard would merely seal my spinster fate. And so instead I went to Fresh Market where I loaded up my hand-basket with singleton essentials like potato chips, sushi, and apples. Then I went home, flopped across my sofa, and fed myself chocolate covered peanuts before calling it a night.
This morning I awoke, rubbed my eyes and stretched my legs. As I sat up in bed, I noticed a piece of art was missing from the wall. Nothing but a lone picture hook and a bare white wall. I sat up straighter and scanned the room. There, perched against my dresser, was the art. I let out a sigh, got up and returned the framed photograph to the wall. Then I looked over at my nightstand. At least my jewelry box wasn’t missing.