The other night, I woke up at 2:30 in the morning to what I thought was more bat chirping. You know how there’s a spectrum between asleep and awake (see figure 1.0) and how you accelerate rapidly along that spectrum once your brain registers real world trouble? (I have a theory that true adrenaline rushes don’t happen during sleep. But they can happen at even the slightest amount of awake-ness. And once they do, you travel the rest of that spectrum disturbingly fast. Hence the phrase “rude awakening.” See figure 1.1)
The thing is, I wasn’t quite sure, once I was awake, whether the bat chirping actually happened. It may have been a dream only. I got out of bed and kept my flashlight less floor-bound than I did last time; I observed the cats, who both seemed quite awake but not freaky like they are when there’s a critter in the vicinity.
So I went back to bed and lay there listening. No more chirps. I drifted to sleep. Then the pitter patter of cats tearing around the room woke me again.
Another flashlight trip, another discovery of the cats lounging nonchalantly, another return to bed. This time, it took longer to fall asleep. But when I did, it didn’t take long for an aggressive cat “rahw” to wake me again.
For a third time, I got out of bed and found nothing. And for a third time, I tried to fall asleep again. It wasn’t so easy. I looked at the alarm clock to see whether it was going to be one of those mornings where Eileen planned to wake up at 5:00 am.
It was 4:43. So I got out of bed and checked my email. Nothing.