It's been a long day. I'm feeling inadequate, as usual. If only I didn't have to sleep.
My sleep is not restful. I have dreams - such vivid dreams. If my husband didn't sleep next to me, undisturbed, I'd swear they were real.
And yet, how could they be real?
It begins as soon as I close my eyes. My body sinks into the memory-foam mattress more deeply than it used to. Is it getting old? I add this to my list of worries: mattress needs replacement. I adjust my position and, as if I were in quicksand, sink even deeper. The paralysis of sleep comes over me. Am I on the bed (really in the bed, now) or floating in water? Either way, my limbs are heavy and helpless. I try to wiggle an ankle, just to see if I can. The message never seems to make it down to my leg.
Then I feel it. A chill against my leg, like a patch of colder water in a warm pool. The sensation is intimately familiar, as if I've experienced it a thousand times before. Familiar, yes, and weighted with dread. Like the darkest deja vu, I can't remember what happens next, but I'm certain it's loathsome.
The chill comes again, and resolves into a cold pressure against my ankle. Something smooth is sliding over my skin. I can tell without knowing how that it is alive.