I had to get out of bed early this morning because My Darling B wasn’t making any noise AT ALL. I woke up from a dream, made a quick visit to the bathroom, climbed back into bed and, while I was waiting to return to Slumberland for what I was sure would be several more hours, I realized that B was making absolutely no sound. I couldn’t even hear her breathing.
This is not normal. Normal, on any given night in our house, is lots and lots of snoring. I’m as guilty of it as she is, and I know this because she has made a recording of me snoring so I could hear that I sound like a diesel dump truck downshifting on an off-ramp when I snore. She sounds more like a cartoon Dagwood: SNXXXX! SNXXXX!
So when she makes absolutely no sound at all, it can weird me out. Not always. There are lots of nights when I’m so oblivious of what’s going on around me that I can easily return to sleep after any one of my six dozen visits to the loo in the middle of the night, and thank goodness. Having Old Man Bladder would be a million times worse if I couldn’t.
But on a night like tonight after waking from a dream full of super-creepy twists and turns, my lizard brain sometimes kicks in. “She’s not breathing,” it says to me.
“Oh stop it,” I say right back. “Of course she’s breathing.”
“Can you hear her breathing? No, you can’t.”
“Of course I can’t, my tinnitus is ringing off the hook.”
“Your tinnitus isn’t that loud.”
“Shrieking banshees aren’t as loud as my tinnitus. Quit bothering me.”
“So you’re not worried at all that she’s not breathing.”
“No, I’m not worried, because she is breathing and she’s fine.”
“Yeah, I’m sure you’re right. She’s perfectly fine. It’s just that tonight she’s really, really quiet. Happens all the time”
“No. It never happens. She’s never this quiet.”
“Well aren’t you going to do something about it then?”
“And what am I going to do? Give her a poke? That’d go over well I’m sure.”
“You don’t have to do anything as rude as poking her. Just roll over, yawn, scratch yourself, make a little noise, same as you do every night.”
That’s what I did: I made a little noise, then laid perfectly still to see what her reaction would be. Only she didn’t react at all. She continued to lie there, still as a statue, and made no sound. So I rolled over, yawned, stretched, adjusted the bed covers, did a little cat/cow, farted. Finally she made a tiny snuffling noise.
“There! See? She’s breathing.”
“Pffft. Corpses make a noise just like that when they get gassy.”
“You went there. I can’t believe you went there. How are you even part of my psyche?”
“Your psyche is totally screwed up and you know it. Now give her a poke to see if she’s alive.”
Well, dear reader, I didn’t poke her. At that point I gave up on sleep, rolled out of bed and headed to the kitchen to make some coffee. As I grabbed my pants on the way out, B whimpered in her sleep and shifted the blankets to get more comfortable.
Sleep well, B.