“No pillow talk for a week!” This is the first thought that crosses my mind when Mark tells me about a class he has to take at Southern Seminary. To clarify “pillow talk” is the long conversation couples have once they are in bed for the night. As Mark proceeds to tell me his plan, I instantly begin to picture myself alone in bed, talking to a mound of blankets that I shaped to look like his body. As my imagination gives way to reality, a few days later I find myself all alone getting ready for bed.
I turn off all the lights and jump in bed. With nobody to talk to my mind begins to wander. As I lay in the dark, I am not like a normal person who would just go to bed. No, I begin to think, “Oh, I’ll probably have nachos for lunch tomorrow.” As I imagine myself sitting down to eat, I suddenly visualize a chip getting lodged in my throat. Elias would be my only audience playing in his saucer as I “supposedly” gag on the chip. My eyes widen as I consider what to do. When my mind contemplates calling 911, I realize I shouldn’t call. I won’t be able to talk! I wonder if 911 receives texts. “Um, excuse me I’m choking on a chip. My husband is out of town. And I was just wondering if you could pick up my baby after I’ve passed out on the floor?”
As I decide texting 911 is not the way to go, I begin to imagine running to a neighbor’s house while I still have breath. What would I do, ring the door bell and point at my throat? If I even made it across the street, my crazy gestures would probably get me sent straight to the loony bin. Now clinching my covers as I imagine choking to death, I tell myself I’m stupid for even worrying about chocking on a chip. Don’t eat chips for crying out loud!
As I decide not to eat nachos, I close my eyes to try to sleep when I start imagining something under my bed. I know I have completely lost it when I don’t picture a person under there, but instead a dog. As fear begins to overtake my thoughts, I know that I will freak out if that dog licks my hand when I dangle it over the edge of my bed. I finally have to tell myself to “knock it off.”
As I close my eyes, I try to go to sleep again. Lying still, I try to relax when I suddenly become thirsty. I am quickly to the point where I cannot possibly sleep until I have a giant glass of water. Panicking about the water being all the way down stairs, I try to convince myself to get out of bed and turn the lights on. After an intense debate with myself, I finally get up. I start tip toeing to the fridge, when my mind starts playing scary music. As I round each corner, I begin to think about how many places there are for people to hide in my house. I walk quickly as I pass my kitchen window. Then I imagine what I would do if I saw someone’s face through the glass. I get so worked up that my heart is beating faster when I reach the refrigerator. When the refrigerator door creaks, I practically freak out. I grab the water, gulp it down and practically run back to my bed. I jump under my covers like a little kid and wonder who thought it was a good idea to leave me at home all by myself.
I am finally in the safety of my bed, when I realize that I have to go to the bathroom- SO bad. Paralyzed with fear, I can’t get up and go. I mean what if someone is hiding behind my shower curtain? What if someone pops out and scares me? What is funny is I don’t ever picture someone hurting me. Instead I imagine them jumping out and startling me. I just know that if this happened, it would lead to my unfortunate death. I would probably be discovered days later looking like a lifeless cartoon character, lying on the floor, tongue hanging out, with X’s over my eyes.
As you can see, I shouldn’t be left alone when these kinds of scenarios can run through my mind. All this to say: I am very thankful for my 6’3 husband who can protect me from imaginary dogs, phantom chips that might choke me and for keeping me sane so I don’t end up in a white padded room someday.