the circular runner

The Monster Inside Me

In humor, life, observations, Uncategorized, writing on December 16, 2011 at 5:17 am

It’s happened more than once lately. I’m sleeping and off in the distance, I hear something. It’s not me. It can’t be. It’s just too horrible. So, being human, I do the same thing we have done forever as a species when faced with the incomprehensible: I have tried to come up with stories, reasons and causes, to help me make sense of the frightening thing that’s making the racket in my room. One time, I heard this pinging sound and I imagined that the plumbing in my Edwardian flat was going bad and that soon, a flood of sewage would be washing my wife and I away. Another time, I imagined that the low, vast murmur off in the distance was some kind of beast, like a giant toad, bellowing its war cry just as it was about to attack. Most recently, I imagined that the percussive beat that was engulfing the room was coming from some traveling German rave scene that had chosen to camp out right next to my bed. I can still see the giant Gunther-looking dude DJ’ing and his head bobbing aggressively to Kraftwerk. (If you’ve ever heard the song, Autobahn, then you know that this is the most frightening images of all.)

The sounds, of course, were not caused by any of these things.  As much as I don’t want to admit it, the sounds were all in my head–literally. I am snoring. My wife has said this for some time, but I wouldn’t accept it. She had to be wrong. I just don’t do that. Why I react this way to the idea of snoring probably has to do with the fact that for me, snoring is just such the cliche of the old, bald, cranky man. I don’t see myself that way. Bald and cranky, I’ll cop to that. Maybe I’m even a little proud of those qualities, but old? Me? I think the traveling techno party in my room or the giant toad makes a lot more sense. At least I did until recently.

Now that I’m actually hearing it myself, actually hearing all that volume in my sleep, what can I say? Guilty as charged. (And guilty is the right word because every time it happens, every time I catch myself, I sit straight up and look around to see who’s noticed what I’ve done, which basically means, I look to see if my wife is looking at me with a little smile, as if to say, Yes, dearest, that giant alien-vacuum cleaner you’re imagining–that’s no alien appliance. That’s you. I’d love to film my reaction. She never is awake. She’s used to me snoring, I guess. I know this, but still, I seem to forget every time I go to sleep.

I know I must look nuts jumping out of bed, attempting a furtive glance as the reality settles in on me: I’m just getting older. In one more way, I am becoming my father.


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