Monday, August 06, 2007

Sleep - those little slices of death, how I loathe them. ~Edgar Allen Poe

Mr. Sandman and I have never had a good relationship. Sleep and I have never been very good friends. For as long as I can remember a good nights sleep is a rare occurrence. I am a restless sleeper. I have very vivid dreams. Nightmares are frequent and insomnia plagues me more often then should be allowed. I have a reoccurring nightmare of a man lurking in the shadows, I never see his face and there is never any contact but the ominous feeling of doom is always prevalent. That feeling of uneasiness and lingering memory sometimes follows me throughout the day. Last night I had that nightmare, this morning I feel tired and aloof. I can relate this nightmare to something that happened when I was 7.

We lived in Brooklyn on Vernon Street, in a tenement building that was 6 stories high and had 4 apartments on each floor. There were no elevators, you walked up the stairs. Behind the first landing of the stairs was a dark alcove. It was sort of a dark corner behind the stairs, against a back wall, there were no apartments near that corner. A long hallway lead from the entrance to our building to the back where the stairs were located. We lived on the fourth floor.

I remember it was warm and sunny, I had been outside playing. At some point I decided to go home and have water. I walked inside and headed to the stairs. I heard a small noise, it sounded like an animal, perhaps a puppy. I slowly peeked around the banister to the dark corner behind the stairs and in a flash, but what now in my minds eye appears to have happened in slow motion, a man grabbed me. I remember my feet in the air, his breath on my neck his hand over my mouth and still to this day I swear I can sometimes remember the sound of his whisper. "don't scream, I'll kill you". As I type this, I feel anxious, strange how a memory of so long ago can still cause an obvious physical reaction.

As I was being carried down the long hallway leading to the front door of the building, the man who lived in the apartment closest to the front door was leaving for work. I was friends with his daughter. When he saw me being carried off by someone not my father he said something, I don't recall what. He ran towards the man who attempted to push past him, with me still in his arms. In the scuffle/chaos that ensued, I was dropped on the floor and the man fled out the front door. I got up and ran as fast as I could to our apartment, followed the whole time by my neighbor. I am sure I made it to our fourth floor apartment in record time.

Two days later, the news carried reports of a 6 year abducted and killed. She lived in the building next door to mine. We use to play together. We were on rival double dutch teams. I don't recall how I reacted to the news but I remember my parents crying. I also remember that I never again walked in and out of that building alone. Shortly after, perhaps months later we moved to Euclid Avenue.

There is no doubt my nightmare of the man in the shadows is somehow related to that one day back on Vernon Street. Until last night I had not had this nightmare in a very long time, maybe even a couple years. I'm not sure what precipitated it's return. Perhaps just my recent bout with insomnia, perhaps stress, perhaps I spent way to much time before bed pondering the ways of the planet, or maybe it was just the bowl of ramen noodles I had before bed.


spunky said...

Our dreams are our enemies-they piss us off and make us ponder why we feel the pain. What's to come in the near future that we are being warned.

Tera said...! This reminds me of a dream *nightmare* I always have about being chased by a man. It is always so intense! I wake up every time hyperventilating, and sweating like a hog! I often wonder if it's a sign.

So that is very strange that this dream revisits you after so long...hmmm, I know it makes you wonder. Although it could be the ramen noodles!

Amadeo said...

I have had all types of sleep activities...walking, talking I even dreamed about being hit by a car on a monday and got hit that friday. I pay very close attention to my dreams these days.

heather said...

i can think of nothing witty or insightfull to say so instead i leave you with this.


this too shall pass.

EsLocura said...

Spunky, true enough.

Tera, yep, it must have been the ramen.

Amadeo, dreams the path to the future?

Heather, what? you have nothing witty to say? wtf. damn I hope this too shall pass.

Kofi said...

It's taken me two years to regulate my sleeping. The job thing. It's hard for me to get more than four hours without waking up, tossing or turning, etc. My own dabblings with doom do not have a basis in reality (yet...)

EsLocura said...

Kofi, "yet" is the key word.

Susan said...

I've had night terrors for four nights in a row. This means a total of about 4 hours of sleep. Last night it was the man pushing the pillow on my face. It's a horrible feeling to finally be alert and to wake up gasping.

I hope tonight Mr. Sandman finds us both and is merciful..

...a nice Mr. Sandman too. Not the one off the Metallica video. He scared me as a child.

EsLocura said...

Susan, I wonder if there is a Mr. sandman hot line we can call.

Susan said...

Can we also request he's super hot and can..uh..distract us with other things?

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I'm sooooo glad you escaped the fate of that other poor child. What a horrible experience for you to have had. No wonder it's imprinted on your brain and strikes when your defenses are down, and no wonder you are an insomniac.

I had a similar experience that haunted me in dreams until several years ago when I was able to lucidly supply a different ending while sleeping. I understood at the time that I would never have that dream again, and I haven't.

I am still an accomplished insomniac, though. It's hard to let go and trust that morning will come after such a close call.

Good luck with healing this. It's still possible. Sending the best of thoughts.

EsLocura said...

Susan, that's why you are so groovy, you are always thinking of our best interest.

Hearts, you are wise and I always enjoy your comments. I am going to try the different ending thing. as for insomnia, damn it sucks huh?

lyre said...

You need an angel to visit and let you know you are protected. You were that night. your angel sent that man out the door and gave him the courage to speak up.

gosh! I wouldnt have had that picture of your drunk neighbor to laugh at if he had been successful.

So when I am up at 3am, i can pop you an email and chat?

EsLocura said...

Lyre, yes, email me, I am awake at all sorts of hours. I have my first cup of coffee around 4 am.

GP said...

Lyre is right you need and angel to help you sleep.

I will be your angel.

EsLocura said...

gp, I think those big angel wings may get in the way of a good nights sleep.

Susan said...

I slept 45 minutes last night. I am a zombie.

Anonymous said...

Es -
If you dream of the man again, imagine my big a-- beating the bloody f--- out of him before he lays a hand on you.
You've seen my pictures, trust me, I pack a wallop. My kids walk around with their heads in the clouds convinced they are untouchable because they have seen me in action.
The best therapy in my opinion is prayer. That child has been at peace for quite some time now. Allow the child in you to have peace. You are safe now,

EsLocura said...

Susan, try and rest, the world looks brighter then.

Caspar, those pictures were great, sounds like a great time was had, sorry I missed it. Thanks for being willing to kick ass on my behalf.

Dagromm said...

Now a days I don't know if the neighbor would have interfered like yours did back then. Now we are so isolated in our own little worlds that neighbors don't know each other.

Try a teddy bear. That's what helped me. Let me know if you need one and I'll send you one of mine.

EsLocura said...

Dagromm, yep, you seem the teddy bear type, I'll get back to you on the offer.

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