I am an insomniac. I have a very difficult time going to sleep and if I am awakened in the middle of the night, I cannot easily go back to sleep. I cannot go to sleep if anyone in the house is still awake and I am one of those people who cannot sleep if there is any unidentified or irritating noise in the house. You would not believe how many times I have been awakened by or couldn’t go to sleep because of, some tick,tick, tock, tock, drip, drip, thunk, thunk, squeak, squeak, rumble, rumble or beep, beep or because the pool pump is making a strange noise, or the air conditioner, heater or refrigerator is sounding very much like it is about to croak.It is useless to ask dear husband to help me identify and hopefully stop, said noise, because he is usually already snoring away or “can’t hear it” or makes up some creative but obviously false source or reason for the noise. So, I have learned to “do it myself” when it comes to identifying and eliminating strange noises in the night.
This morning about 3:30, I was awakened by the beep, beep, beep of the UPS (uninterrupted power supply) signaling me that I had only thirty minutes before the computer would shut off. “The computer is already off,” I muttered, as it very slowly dawned on me that the night light was off, there were no numbers showing on the bedside clock and the alarm system was beeping to tell me it had gone to battery power. It finally sinks into my sleep deprived brain that the power is off. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t bother me but John has to leave for work at 6:30 and has the alarm set for 5:30. The alarm system is now sounding a bit impatient and Ellie decides it is definitely time for a middle of the night potty trip. So, I crawl out of bed, find my way through the inky blackness to the bathroom, try to switch on the light (duh!) pull up the shade hoping for a hint of light from outside, find only inky darkness there too and manage in the dark to take care of necessities. I grope my way back into the bedroom, trip over a dog toy (I hope), stumble into the hall where I can see absolutely nothing. I feel for the linen closet door, then the basement door. I open the door into the still darker (if that’s possible) pit of the basement stairwell, briefly thinking that perhaps someone has cut off our power supply and stands lurking there to grab me. “I have been reading too much Dean Koontz and watching too many crime shows on TV,” I grumble, as I quickly feel for the giant flashlight, that is also heavy enough to knock someone out cold, if necessary. I grab it from the hook on the wall and with a bit more speed than is necessary, close the basement door, shutting out the serial killer who is by now making his/her way up the stairs. Ellie is following closely in my footsteps with a tap,tap, tap of nails on the hardwood floors. Finally, with the glow of the flashlight, I make my way to the alarm keyboard and punch in the codes to silence the beeping. “At least whoever cut the power lines didn’t find the line to the alarm system,” I muse. I shine the flashlight out into the darkness half expecting something to go “boo” as I let Ellie out. I grab the phone, only to remember that it has to have power to work. I search for John’s cell phone that I know has the power company’s number in it. Find it. Call the power company and hear the computerized voice advising me that there is a power outage in my area and the next available crew will be repairing it. That’s a relief–no serial killer. Simply a run of the mill sort of power outage. They expect it to be repaired by 4:30. Dog is scratching at the door to be let in. I let her in and find the wind up clock that I hate and call “tick tock” for its irritatingly loud tick tock. I wind it up, set the time and alarm, make my way back to the bedroom and crawl back into bed. John wakes up, stumbles around the bed on his way to the bathroom and says, “The power’s off.” “Really,” I say, “I didn’t know. But not to worry, I have found the tick tock and set the alarm, I have the flashlight right here for you and just so you know, there is no crazed serial killer lurking in the basement. So, go to the bathroom and go back to sleep. You have to get up in an hour and a half or so.” “Huh?” he muttered as he took the flashlight and wandered off to the bathroom. “Why didn’t you wake me up?,” he asked when he returned. “I didn’t want to bother you. The power should be back on by 4:30.” “Oh you called then?” he asked, yawning. “Of course, dear, go back to sleep.”
I lie there listening to the beep, beep of the UPS and the tick tock of the clock knowing that I will not go back to sleep. The power comes on earlier than predicted. I re-set the alarm clock, throw a towel over the wind up to muffle the hideous tick tock and doze off just as both alarms go off. I turn off the tick tock, hit the snooze on the alarm clock, tell my sweet husband that he has five minutes or so and then he must get up. I turn over and finally go to sleep. I didn’t hear the alarm go off the second time and barely remember his kiss good-bye. My good, little dogs let me sleep until the late hour of 7:30.
It is now a bit past noon. The house is clean and there’s a load of laundry in the washer. It is a gray, overcast day here in NW Georgia. The perfect kind of day for browsing through old photos, reading old letters or snuggling on the couch with my sweet Ellie dog. Yes, a nap, that is exactly what is in order. Move over Ellie, mama is about to join you.
Hoping you have a lovely Saturday, where ever you may be. Yawn.
6 thoughts on “In the Dark”
What a wonderfully written post! You are a fabulous storyteller! I love this! You capture the emotions of middle of the night excursions,the difficulties of stumbling in the darkness, and the logic of the half asleep so perfectly! So sorry you had to endure insomnia for inspiration, however! Hope you have a refreshing nap. After a night like that, you certainly deserve it. Love you, dear Vicky! Sweet dreams…~Janine XO
Dearest Vicky…I stopped by to say my post is ALL in good fun…very tongue in cheek…NOT a serious word in it…LOL…So, now, you have tasted a bit of my overblown exaggeration… that which I call humor… hopefully, you'll still keep me 🙂 You are the MOST wonderful friend in the world…I love you with all my heart! And oh, I'm so glad you're a “cute” one as well…we need to stick together! Love you more and more…always~ Janine XO
Oh I loved this post! Very good humor especially with the serial killer! That would have been going through my mind too! I hope you were able to catch a good nap!
Love Di ♥
Beautiful writing-very well done! So when's the novel coming out?! I can see a thriller starting from this beginning!
I am planning to do the blog-thing soon. Didn't want you to think I'm ignoring it. Just takes me a while to get to things!
Your story kept me glued. I know what you mean about thinking of serial killers! Most of the time I am blessed with getting to sleep right away and not waking up till it's time to get up. BUT sometimes I do wake up in the middle of the night and can't sleep. What I do is I start praying. I am able to intercede for many people who need prayers and I am lulled to sleep myself! Patsy from
Inky darkness. I love that. Sorry you have trouble sleeping. That's the worst. My hubbyhas trouble from working graveyard & he takes melatonin, that seems to work for him and it's natural.