Last night a nightmare was pretty much inevitable.
Ever since seeing the trailer for “The Fourth Kind,” I can’t stop seeing the pixilated face of Dr. Abigail Tyler, and hearing her say “Someone… or something… came into my room… and took me away.”
For most of last night I had to sleep on my left side or my back, because I was just too freaked out to have my back to the bedroom door. I tucked my blanket around my body carefully, even though I was hot. I thought about how alien abductions only happen in the middle of nowhere. It’s not like there was going to be a spaceship hovering in the middle of town, right?
But I was still nervous, because I’ve watched all the UFO shows on television, and I know the scientific explanation for alien abduction: sleep paralysis, a state in which your mind has awoken but your body remains paralyzed. That would be reason enough for panic, but many people also have some horrifying hallucinations during the experience.
I feel about sleep paralysis the way my brother feels about killer asteroids. I wish I didn’t know it exists. Even when I can completely convince myself that I won’t be abducted by aliens (which is a tall enough order when you’re lying alone in the dark), I still have to worry about having the experience of being abducted. Does it even matter if it’s “really” happening if the experience is horrible enough?
I did fall asleep, eventually. I didn’t experience sleep paralysis, but I did have a really strange nightmare.
Here’s the premise: Michael Jackson is sleeping in a bed with a married couple. He may have been sleeping at the foot of the bed like a dog, I’m not sure. Later, the couple are telling someone (a documentarian?) about the noises that MJ made while he was sleeping. You see an image of him asleep and hear these strange, high-pitched noises. They play it back slower, and you hear him calling for his mothership, or something.
And then I woke up. Not in a cold sweat or anything, but kind of freaked out. Still seeing the sleeping face of Michael Jackson. I told Michael I had a nightmare, and he snuggled me. Then I told him I had to go pee, but I was afraid to leave the bedroom.
I expected him to pat me on the shoulder and tell me it would be okay, but he actually offered to come out with me. When you’re with someone for a long time, your displays of affection change. Instead of buying me flowers or jewelry, Michael waits in the living room while I pee so that Michael Jackson won’t get me.
The moment was ruined a little bit when we got back to our bedroom and Michael said, "Don’t worry, the real Michael Jackson will come down in his spaceship and kick his ass.” After a second I understood that he was making a South Park reference, but I still yelled at him. “That’s not funny! We don’t say the “s” word at night!”
Despite Michael's lapse in judgment, I did get back to sleep.