One of this week’s prompts is
Share a story about a sleepwalker.
My mother, who I loved dearly and miss more than anything sometimes, could tell that someone was crazy. She had a degree in psychology, which I guess qualified her to identify psychosis. She used this skill on many occasions, telling me that I shouldn’t hang around with certain kids because they were “goofs,” and I think she was convinced that I was a few crayons shy of a full box. For example, I talk to myself. I think everyone does to some extent, but most people keep it to themselves. She was worried about this, and consulted my uncle, the neurosurgeon, on what to do about it.
He asked her, “Where does he talk to himself?”
“The bathroom,” she replied.
“That’s terrible!” he said. “I talk to myself in the basement!” She never brought the subject up again.
Apparently, for a short time after Dad died, I was a sleepwalker. The story goes that one night, Mom woke up and heard someone trying to open the lock on the back door, went to investigate, and found me there. She asked me what I was doing, and I told her that I was going to school. She led me back to bed, and that was that.
I got up the next morning (I think it was Saturday), totally unaware that any of this had transpired. When Mom got up, she said she wanted to talk to me. In her usual calm and loving manner, she gave me the third degree about what was bothering me, because (in her world, anyway) “people just don’t walk in their sleep for no reason.”
This was a little upsetting, because number one, I had no idea that I had done it, and number two, nothing in particular was “bothering” me. In time, I was able to convince her that nothing other than losing Dad (which had happened a year and a half earlier) was bothering me, I had no current stressors, and really, I was fine. She seemed to accept that, and I figured that the matter was effectively resolved.
A couple of weeks later, I got up one morning and was informed that I had, once again, walked in my sleep. Again I was able to convince her that all was well and that I had no explanation as to why I would get out of bed while still asleep and attempt to go to school (or wherever) in my pajamas. Again, I figured the issue was resolved. Which it was, to a certain extent. See, the phone in the house was close to the back porch, where we spent a lot of time watching TV. One day, I thought I heard her tell someone, in what passed for sotto voce, “Johnny walks in his sleep, and he says he doesn’t know why.”
Just as quickly as it started, it stopped. Crisis averted.
From 1959, Santo and Johnny Farina… the beautiful “Sleep Walk.”