Tarun says that I enter REM sleep the second my head hits the pillow. I'd love to browse, stream, and read like he does at night, but I simply cannot stay awake once I am in bed. I sleep like a log and if awakened I go back to sleep effortlessly.
Until Saturday night.
In a Bram Stroker-caliber nightmare with background score from Psycho, I was being attacked with no escape. I was trying to scream but no sound was coming out. In reality, I was screaming at the top of my lungs, transporting a soundly sleeping Tarun instantly into hell.
So, what brought this on? In short, Portland Maine.
The average age of homes in Portland is 234 years. I am exaggerating, but only a tad.
The homes here look like the ones in horror movies. They are ancient, the dark brick exterior is reminiscent of haunted houses, and the Halloween decoration isn't helping the nerves at all.
Plus, Stephen King is from Portland. Enough said.
On our walk on the west end of town with old and stately homes overlooking the valley, I jokingly said, "Why do these homeowners bother with Halloween decor? Aren't these houses spooky enough?!" Back at home, we found that the electrical circuitry around the cooking range had shorted and we had to go into the basement to check the circuit breaker.
How do I describe the basement? Think "Ghostbusters", think "It". Now I am not exaggerating.
That night as we went to bed in our apartment with wide and creaking pine floorboards and a living area heated with a stove from 1633, the final thought of the day centered on carbon monoxide poisoning.
I told myself to shut up and go to sleep.
I had curated the perfect ingredients for a nine-alarm nightmare - conviction of living in a haunted town, memories of King’s "Pet Sematary" (which is based on a real pet cemetery 10 minutes away!), and thoughts of chemical toxicity. No wonder my subconscious reveled in death and I screamed bloody murder while my vocal cords were allegedly paralyzed.
Tarun gave me a stern warning in the morning - quit joking about haunted houses and ghosts and goblins; this stuff is keeping you up at night.
Yessir, I said, recognizing that the mind can play havoc with the subconscious.
We recovered well from this ghastly episode and had a delightful Sunday with a long walk and a scenic drive to Scarborough. As we were admiring rows of beautiful homes overlooking pristine Saco Bay, this sign went by us and nixed any chance of ever sleeping well in Portland.