Sunday, July 24, 2011

My Best Qualities: Sleeping with the Door Closed

I can never seem to fall asleep calmly with the door to my room open. Any time I try to shut my eyes, this looming shadow of worry seems to pounce on me like a ravenous lion, and envelops me until I can groggily slip out of my bed and walk over to the door to close it. It doesn't have to be locked, just firmly closed. I don't know if this could be traced back by a team of psychotherapists to some childhood trauma that I involuntarily suffered from, or some kind of Jungian instinct that was ingrained by the forefathers because of some kind of spiritual connexion that we unknowingly share. I'm pretty sure that neither of those can be true, because what this really boils down to is two primary fears: homicide and zombies.

The first, I suppose isn't so irrational, since anyone could really just slip into my house and start a Murder Party with all the unconscious bodies just laying about. I guess that it couldn't be that hard. At least, not to me. I can't really think of anything I could do if I woke up to some masqued mouth-breathing former mechanic stretched over my body with Thanksgiving Turkey on his mind. After all, he has the knife or ax or serrated screwdriver and is ready to check my organs for life; all I have at my disposal are two pillows and building incontinence. I suppose that the second might give me a small window of surprise, in which I could take my pillows and force him into a comfortable nap - though I can't see many serial killers suffering from narcolepsy. It would just take forever to finish a murder; not even worth it in the end. Now, a killer with sleep apnœa is a whole other story: at least you could hold off your rest until after you've finished desecrating the body; and then you can just lie down in whatever least-bloody part of the bed you can find and take a short nap. But I'd be dead either way, so it doesn't necessarily matter too much to me in the end.

The second fear is zombies. Yes, I know: I'm buying into the zeitgeist! Way to feed memes with cliché deep-seated fears! Don't worry, my inner hipster has already done enough scoffing at my reptillian brain, where you all should feel comfortable in your passive disgust for my general character. However, this doesn't change the fact that sometimes I fear that my casually-ill mother will at some point shuffle into my room, and I thinking her just having woken up in the middle of the night, will attempt to engage her in conversation, at which point I will die. Well, maybe not die outright, but she will probably lunge at me, lacerating some part of my exposed flesh, at which point I will lock myself in the bathroom and eventually attack and cannibalise some downtrodden, unsuspecting survivors holing up in my house for protection. I don't necessarily mean to single out my mother, as my father also has a penchant for roaming the corridor in the middle of the night, so he could as easily lumber into my room and ruin my already-dwindling track record with life. Sometimes I'll even replay the scene in my head indefinitely from the time I lie down to when I slip off into whatever bland dreams follow horrific panic-induced plotting. I can never get to the part where I'm eventually overpowered and consumed by the very people who gave me life - mostly because I already know it'll end that way, no matter how many laundry bins and office chairs cascade into them.

It should come as no surprise, then, that as of today I have still not finished Max Brooks's Zombie Survival Guide, because every time I begin reading it, I starting getting nervous only a few pages in. I get similarly nervous watching or reading anything else zombie-related, but can otherwise finish the movie/show/book without problem, only realising as I lie down in my bed that the virus can hit at any time. Obviously, I realise that it's pure fantasy, that as of yet there is no such thing as that kind of infection; and even if there were, I should be able to take comfort in the fact that my slovenly person would not make it more than a few steps outside of my home in case of such an epidemic without being surely and quickly ended.