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Dead-to-the-World Man Walking
by James Snyder
03/03/06
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One morning this week, I woke up with a black eye. How I got it still baffles me. I have my suspicions, of course, but some things are better left to themselves no matter how lonely they may get.

In getting older, I have realized certain things are changing in my body. For example, I now find myself walking in my sleep. This is a new experience for me and I'm not sure what it means or what I should do about it.

On the positive side, walking in my sleep is about the only exercise I really get these days, so I should not complain too much. It is nice to know at my age some things are still working even if it is when I am unconscious. My problem has escalated to the point where I have begun wearing sneakers to bed. Of course, I don’t wear anything else and when I find myself three blocks down the street, my sneakers had better be PDF (pretty dashing fast).

Walking in my sleep is not that bad, except for my mysterious black eye.

Not only am I walking in my sleep, but also my wife has accused me of talking in my sleep. Actually, in my own defense, talking in my sleep is the only time I get a word in edgewise. I guess in the middle of the night I'm trying to make up for this lack during the day.

Lately, I have talked so much in my sleep I wake up a little horse, which just may explain why I have been eating like one lately.

Unfortunately, my talking during the night has kept my wife awake so much; she recently requested I start preaching in my sleep so she can get to sleep.

I used to have trouble falling asleep at night. I tried counting sheep but their bleating kept me awake. When I lay there wide-awake, I began worrying about those sheep. Did someone feed them? And, am I going to have to shear all those sheep myself?

Each night I try to get in 40 winks but by the time I reach number 33 I lose count and have to start all over again. The older I get the more my sleep resembles a salad – well tossed.

Actually, noises in the night upset me the most. Sleep has a way of bringing out the noise in our house, from a dripping faucet down the hall to a creaking window shutter in the living room. It's amazing how intelligent these noises in the night can be. They are quiet until I'm just about ready to drift off into la-la-land.

For example, as far as we know we have no mice in our house. We have never seen any evidence of such critters in our blessed domicile. Yet, in the middle of the night I hear these little critters gnawing the wall right by my head. How they know where I sleep and when I go to sleep is one of the mysteries of these diminutive night stalkers.

Through the years, I have tried many things to help me get to sleep at night. For some reason I have no trouble going to sleep during the daytime particularly in the afternoon. I call these “power naps,” the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage has another name for them, which I cannot repeat here for obvious reasons, my health being the primary one.

I’ve tried everything to help me fall asleep at night. Once I placed my shoes and socks right next to my bed before I go to sleep. Although it had its intended effect upon me, it also had an adverse effect upon the other occupant of my bed.

No matter when I go to bed nor how long I have slept, I always need just one minute more of sleep. Why is it I can hear the drip of a faucet down the hall but I can't hear the clanging alarm clock at my head? Eventually, when I do full asleep the crack of dawn awakens me.

My wife, trying to assist me in my nocturnal dilemma, suggested I try some hot cocoa right before going to sleep. For the most part, it does work. My only difficulty with hot cocoa is if I don't drink it quickly enough I begin nodding halfway through and spill it on my chest. I can assure you it's a real eye opener.

I am reminded of a verse of scripture that addresses this subject. David, the Psalmist observes, "It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep" (Psalms 127:2 KJV).

And then, who could overlook Psalms 121:3-4 (KJV), "He [God] will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep."

Now, back to my black eye. I really have no recollection of how this happened. My wife has tried explaining it to me by pointing out, most correctly, that lately I have been walking in my sleep. No argument from me. Then she explained while I was walking in my sleep the other night I walked into the bathroom door causing the black eye.

I'm not in any position to question her, but I noticed she was rubbing her right fist most tenderly.


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