Tuesday evening Jon was gone for a work thing, and I can tell you this now because he's back so don't get any ideas about coming over to my house and trying to kill me. I'm always careful not to mention that I'm home alone in internet public because it just seems like a prudent precaution, but then my brain gets carried away and takes it to an extreme level of paranoia.
I just tweeted that I was having dinner. Should I have said WE were having dinner? NOW THEY ALL KNOW MY SECRET. That's how I sometimes find myself in the dark crouched behind the door with a five iron after one too many tweets about donuts, because "donuts" is code for "loneliness."
At some point after 11:30 I looked around in a haze and realized that I had fallen asleep on the couch basking in the warm irradiated glow of the netflix home screen. I stumbled to the bathroom, rubbed my face with a manky towel, and then walked back into the living room. I poked Harlan in the side and said, "Get up. Get up. Get up. Get up. Get up," for the next ten minutes before I was finally able to usher both dogs into the other room to put them into their houses for the night, which is a wholesomely disguised way of saying CANINE JAILS. If you break into the work bench cabinets and eat all the steel wool I get to put you in jail because you're an idiot. That's how math works.
I briefly considered letting Bang stay out and sleep with me to ease my raging paranoia about demonic rapist attack but she always tries to fart on my pillow and then gets up in the middle of the night and gets stuck underneath the bed. It's the opposite of reassuring to suddenly be awoken by bumping and tapping from directly underneath your mattress followed by ominous heavy breathing and a muffled mhhrrrrr-ing sound.
Mhhrrrrrrr... taptaptap bump. HUFF HUFF. Mmmmhhhrrrr... snort snort tap. [bed shakes]
I turned the lights out and ran up the stairs in the pitch-black velvet night like something was chasing me, because when you're in the dark, alone, something is always chasing you, but I'm sure you know that because you're not stupid, probably, or you haven't watched The Ring enough times.
I screeched to a halt at the top of the stairs and glanced over my shoulder towards the direction of Jude's room. Opening the door to our room is tricky because one of the LOUDEST damn doors I've ever encountered, especially in the summer heat. It sticks at the edges, so you have to hold your breath and throw your shoulder into it to break the seal. The sound that accompanies all the air rushing out echos through the caverns of space and time. It also wakes up ghosts. Then ghosts are all, "GODDAMNIT, I WAS SLEEPING. CAN'T YOU JUST CLIMB IN THROUGH THE CLOSET?"
Since I have no idea how to operate my own alarm clock I set a reminder on my phone and started taking out my contact lenses. I had just plopped one little flopper down into the case when I started hearing thumping on the stairs. "Oh Jamie, you're so weirdly afraid of everything when you're alone in the house. Ha ha. Ha." I set my contact case down on the bed and sat perfectly motionless, now only able to see out of one eye. More mysterious thumping that I was almost positive I wasn't imagining inside my crazybrain. "It's the neighbors. New, annoying, horrible neighbors. Right? Right. You just need to–" The door opened with a monstrous CRACK slowly creaking open to reveal a half a foot of absolutely blackness and a shadowed nebulous shape emerging out of the darkness towards me. I screamed so loudly the windows shook.
I sat frozen on the edge of the bed with one eye closed. Somewhere I imagined the ticking of a clock slicing through the skull-crushing silence.
(Little pattering stairs sounds.)
I pulled the door fully open and caught Harlan halfway down the steps with his head down. His eyes darted up at me and said, "Aww mom, I just wanted to visit you. Why you yell so loud? Meaty hamburgers now, yes?" Wrestling openly on the ropes with the tightness in my chest I walked him back down to his cage and locked the door. Again. I can only assume that either I didn't lock the door firmly enough the first time or a burglar let him out to cause mass hysteria while they hid in the opposite corner of the house to wait for me to go back to bed AND THEN KILL ME. MY CHILD WILL BE MOTHERLESS.
I walked back upstairs pumped up on Hulkdrenaline, laid down in my clothes with the lights on, and stared at the wall with my one seeing eye for the next two hours.
I finally fell asleep at some point, but was woken 30 seconds later by my telephone ringing. It was Jon.
"Mrpp. Zuhhp, hey. What's up?"
"I'm coming home. We found a bedbug in our hotel room."
AND THAT WAS THE END OF ALL THE SLEEPING.