• mariokiefer

Talking in Your Sleep

He was only half asleep and had been that way for the better part of an hour.


He couldn’t exactly say that he had insomnia. He was sleeping, after all, but it was not a good sleep. Although his eyes were closed, he swore he could see the environs of his bedroom. Even with his mind shut down, his thoughts continued to whirl. But those thoughts were enmeshed with his dreams. It was difficult to discern what was real and what was drawn from his inner wonderland.


He heard his wife in bed beside him. It was a just a light snore at first, something she usually only did when prone on her back, but that snore turned into talk.


“I can’t,” he heard her whisper to whoever visited in her dreams.


Eyes still closed he rolled over onto his left side hoping to clear that right nostril; the one that always clogged, the one that gave him trouble breathing. He reached out with his right hand and felt his wife’s back, gently caressing her from the left shoulder down to the right abdomen and continued, back and forth, back and forth, in a singular fluid motion. Many years of experience had taught him that when she had difficulty sleeping, this light caress inevitably lulled her down.


“But he makes me complete,” she said to the other in her dream world causing him to stir and listen.


His eyes fluttered and he knew that he was moving from semi-sleep into a state of wakefulness, but he fought this. If he opened them, he would completely wake and then further slumber would elude him, so he rolled back to his right side intent on recapturing the sleep that was trying to escape. Of their own volition, his eyes opened and when they did, he saw the glowing numerals on the clock.


“It’s only four a.m.,” he thought. “It’s way too early to get up. I have to go back to sleep for at least another hour.”


He felt the urging of his bladder, but chose to ignore it, and closed his eyes.


From the other side of bed and behind him, he heard his wife say, “No; I don’t want to.”


He opened his eyes.


Awake now, he thought, “What was the line from that song; the one by Crystal Gayle? Oh, yeah: ‘I’ve heard it said that dreamers never lie.’”


Eyes closed, he rolled onto his back and in his head began to sing the words to the entire song. Those lyrics, along with so many other memories, were held within the vault of his mind ready to be recalled upon a moment’s notice. With the song playing in his head, the childhood memory of the turntable skipping across the track of this song demanded his attention and he felt his lips curl into a smile as nostalgia overtook him.


“I said I can’t,” his wife responded to her visitor from Nod, the one that he could not hear, interrupting his reverie.


“Who is she talking to?” he wondered.


In that song, Gayle sang of her suspicions that her lover was unfaithful. But he had no concerns about his wife’s fidelity. They truly loved each other and, besides, even if she wanted to be unfaithful, when did she have the time? They were together 24/7. But if she was not talking to some dream lover, then who?


Turning his head, he looked at the clock which now read 4:12 and with a heavy sigh he accepted that Hypnos had abandoned him. He sat and turned dropping his legs over the bedside planting his feet firmly onto the floor.


From behind him, he heard his wife mutter, “You better not,” and he smiled at her somniloquy,.


Wanting her to know his love, but not wanting to wake her, he whispered, “Who are you talking to?”


From behind him, he heard the masculine voice — the one the should not be there — respond, “Me.”

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