Janesville77°

Just a good night’s—oops!

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Rick Horowitz
November 29, 2007

Things to consider when you fall out of bed in the middle of the night:


--Did you hurt yourself?


--Did you break anything?


--Did you wake anyone?


--Do you tell anyone?


No. No. No. And apparently.


The guy was getting in my faceóthat much I remember. He was getting in my face, and he was starting to punch me in the arm. I donít remember why he was doing it, only that he was doing it, and I didnít like it, so I took evasive action.


And thatís when I fell out of bed.


Seriously.


This was just last nightóor to be more precise, early this morning. Only a few hours ago, in fact. I was in bed, sound asleep, and then all of a sudden, I wasnít in bed, or asleep. I was awake, and I was on the floor.


You think itís easy falling out of bed? ďAs easy as falling out of bedĒóisnít that how the old saying goes? If itís so easy, how come Iíd never done it before? If itís so easy, have you ever done it?

I didnít think so.


I could say I had it coming. I might not live on the edge, but I definitely sleep on the edge. I sleep on the edge so that Iím right next to the night table, where the radio is. That way, I can turn the radioís volume down to next-to-nothing and still hear it when it goes on in the morning. I can hear it go on, and I can lie there and listen to the news for a while without disturbing a spouse, or a cat.


I never thought of it as all that risky. (Not nearly as risky as, say, disturbing a spouse. Or a cat.) But last night my number was up, and I still donít know why.


It wasnít the first dream Iíve ever had, or the worst. Iíve been trapped on stairways, lost on subways, shunned by friends, unprepared for examsóthe normal catalog of middle-of-the-night psychodramas. Iíve done my share of thrashing at bogeymen, of running as hard as I can and getting absolutely nowhere.


This time, I got somewhere. I got from the mattress to the carpet with my eyes still closed. But why?


I wasnít feeling especially jumpy at bedtime. Iíd had a reasonably productive day. I wasnít worried about anythingóanything I could put my finger on, anyway. True, Iíd just finished watching the latest Republican presidential debate, but even exposing myself to two-plus hours of candidate smackdowns didnít jangle me, or get my blood racing any more than it usually does. (Besides, the guy punching my arm didnít look anything like Mitt Romney.)


Iíd eaten a late dinneróbut not that late. Iíd eaten a big dinneróbut not that big. It wasnít strange food, or even spicy food. Nothing I hadnít eaten a dozen times before.

Iíd thought I might be coming down with a cold, but all I took was a couple of ibuprofen before I turned in. That wouldnít explain it either.


I canít find anything to explain it. Anything beyond the explanation thatís too simpleóand too dullóto be even remotely acceptable: that I just fell asleep an inch or two closer to the edge than I normally do, and that my first dreamy duck-and-dodge took me right over the side.


In the cool light of day, last night is still a mystery, some random act of gravity. Iím not bruised. But Iím confused.


Seat belts, anyone?



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