The Cruelest Dream

Minutes before my alarm sounded this morning, I had a dream that I was getting ready for bed.

It was a deceptively pleasant dream. I pulled back the comforter and sheets, fluffed up my pillows, snuggled in, positioned myself just so. I always sleep with one arm under my pillow. My other arm lies bent in front of me, my palm against my forehead, fingers through my hair.

I savored the coolness of the unmolested sheets against my body. When I stopped moving, I felt the covers settle like a gentle, silent, heavy snowfall as pockets of air seeped out. I was so tired. I pulled the covers tight and heaved a quiet, satisfied sigh. I was just fading off to sleep, and then…





My brain woke with a snap, but I refused to open my eyes. A dull pain spread out in ripples from the middle of my head, like I had smacked it on a cabinet door. I was filled with a sense of helpless despair and confusion. Already? I was heartsick.

I slapped blindly at my iPhone until I did something, anything to stop the noise. I kept my eyes tightly closed. I would not accept that it was time to get out of bed.

The sickest part is that I had actually been sleeping quite soundly for hours. I went to bed early the night before. But to dream of going to bed just minutes before actually having to wake up really messes with one’s sense of time. I should have awoken calm and well-rested and relaxed. Instead I was a bundle of electric frustration and confusion.

Oh, cruel, cruel dream!

Then Jeff’s alarm went off on the other side of the bed. I pulled back the covers.


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the untallied hours

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