Foreboding- Lurking In The Dark

I didn't sleep well. It was fitful and punctuated by dreams that were both disturbing and frightening. Can't quite remember exactly what happened, just fragments of things. And when I woke up I was a bit disoriented, not really sure where I was or who I was with.

The thing is, I didn't have anything stronger than a glass of water and Alka-Seltzer before bed so I can't attribute this to alcohol or narcotics. What I can say is that somewhere around 11 PM I began to get this feeling of doom, this strong sense of foreboding just enveloped me.

It made me feel edgy and nervous. I tried to let it go. I tried to let the feelings just wash over me like water off a duck's back, but it didn't work. I tried a number of other tricks, everything that I have taught the children, but to no avail.

When I get that feeling it usually comes in two parts, fear and anger. There is the fear about the unknown and the potential impact and then the anger. The anger is an alloy of the fear and frustration. I want to confront it. I want to see what the challenge is so that I can figure out how to overcome it.

But this time I don't quite know how to do it. It feels a bit like I am going to get a phone call to say that someone has died or there is going to be a large earthquake. I don't know how to stop those things.

A short time later I hear a noise and begin to wonder if someone has broken in. In the dark I lie quietly and listen carefully, cataloging the noises around me. This I can handle. I don't like it, it makes me nervous, but an intruder is not the same as an earthquake.

I can disarm and disable an intruder. I can protect and defend. For a moment I think that my mind is playing tricks on me, that it handed me this so that I would feel better. It is just a mindfuck that came over me so that I would feel like I had control of things.

My movements are cautious and careful. I have a body that is built for demolition, not for grace so it is important to be extra careful to be quiet. If there is someone inside with me I don't want them to know that I am coming for them. I want to surprise them and share this joyous experience.

So now I am standing. I am dressed in a tank top and a pair of shorts. I have been working out for a while now, my upper body is beginning to resemble the one I had at twenty-five. Unless they weigh over five hundred pounds someone is going to be very unhappy to witness the results of my efforts.

Slowly I ease my way around the room, past the bed, around pieces of furniture and a kids toy I creep. Inside my mind I am prepared for confrontation. In another moment or two I will know for certain. Just one more room to check.....

Nothing. No one. It is empty.

Now I am confident that it was just inside my head. I am relieved but angry. I let a short yelp of frustration out and sit on the couch. I am wide awake. It is the middle of the night, but all the fires are burning.

Alone in the dark I click on the stereo and listen to Adagio in Strings, Moonlight Sonata and more. The London Philharmonic plays Kashmir and I am inspired to start doing push ups. I bang them out in sets of ten.





Sweat is poring off of my brow and my breathing is a bit ragged. I mull over taking a shower and decide that will kill any relationship I attempt to have with sleep. So I grab a towel and take a quick sponge bath.

A short time thereafter I fall asleep. Not long after that I wake up. A short time later I find myself recounting all of this here on my blog.

Aggravated, irritated and cranky. I am processing all of this, trying to figure out if there is any meaning to any of it. Maybe it can all be written up as just a bad evening, but then again I am a superstitious fellow. Maybe there is something to this foreboding.

I just don't know.


Anonymous said...

What is it in the night that brings such anxiety?

I'm always amazed how that sense of doom and foreboding can inflate from nothing in the dark and refuse to float away.

Baila said...

I also have that anxiety thing at night. It's why I suffer terribly from insomnia. And all those fears in the night are usually (but not always) gone when morning comes.

Jack Steiner said...


The dark touches something deep and primal inside us. It is a throwback to prehistoric days, at least I think so.


Most nights I am ok, but every now and then...

One Wink at a Time said...

Wow, you really described this well. And though I've not been reading you long, I was surprised a bit to read such a personal depiction. Here I was, all thinking you were normal. Now I see you're kinda, sorta just like me.
Scary feeling, isn't it? (What you wrote about, not being like me, I meant. Or maybe that, too)

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