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Nighttime Paranoia

May 29, 2015

My sleeping schedule’s a bit shit. In fact it could best be described as Bernard Black’s chalkboard list from Black Books. For those unfamiliar with Black Books, the list starts off coherent and by the 3rd rule becomes an incoherent mess that not even he knows what the hell it says. Yep, that’s my sleep schedule. Some days I go to bed at 12:30am and other days it’s at 3 or 4am. During the later times I experience what I call nighttime paranoia. My apartment is still and it’s dark and moving anywhere other than my bedroom feels…iffy to me. My imagination likes to conjure up images of me walking into the darkened rooms and hearing a voice say my name out of the middle of nowhere. Keep in mind that I don’t believe in ghosts, but I love a good ghost story. So basically what I’m doing is fucking with myself.

Which is a lot less fun than fucking with myself would be–I imagine. There’s just something unsettling, to me, about being in a darkened place and seeing furniture not being used, even if it’s just temporarily during the night. It gives me the shivers. I also have a thing where I will hightail it if I’m about to turn off the light in a room and no one is with me and I go back to a ‘safe’ area. I distinctly remember my brother giving me that sort of fear when he used to play pranks on me by jumping out of a darkened room. However, I’ve always been this way late at night.

When I used to leave my friend’s house at 3 or 4am I would go at a nice trot to my car if he wasn’t watching me leave. Mostly because his place was surrounded by wooded areas and the parking lot’s lighting was shit. Then of course there’s the paranoia of continuing to look behind me or check my mirrors whilst driving home just to make sure no one was behind me. And man, you haven’t lived till you’re on a darkened I-95 at 4am driving home with sparse traffic and no lights. Hooboy…

I guess all of this fear of the dark is natural, though, if stupid nowadays. Or maybe not. But it’s not fun to feel that way in your own house or apartment. At my one apartment that I briefly shared with my brother, it got so bad one night that when he would be out late that I’d turn on every light in the apartment. I also experienced one thing that did seem…odd. Unexplained. Which I won’t jump to the, “ZOMG ghosts!!!11” But it was rather peculiar. See, I was home alone one day and I decided to take a shower and as I was taking my shower I heard a loud squeak like a dog’s chew toy. Thing is…we never owned a dog nor any chew toy for something to squeak. So, with shampoo in my hair I yelled, “Hello?” No response. I got out. No one was there.

So! It could have been a neighbor with a squeaky toy or something. Dunno, but it’s stuck with me in a, “I can’t really explain it,” kind of way. The other time that was kinda funny where I had nighttime paranoia was one of the first times I’d smoked pot. It’s 12am and I ask my friend, “How long does this stay in your system?” He replied, “A couple of hours.” I agreed to leave around 3:30-4am. But nope. Drove home a little high. Just a smidgen.

I could tell because I was still wonky a bit. Same scenario: driving home on 95 late at night and extremely paranoid that night, I remember repeating, “I’m so dead. The police are going to stop me and I’m done for.” Fortunately that never happened and I went to bed that night and woke up the next day very thankful that that paranoia was over with.

Anyway…yeah, the dark sucks and I’m sort of bothered by it, but not to an extreme extent and only when really tired.

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