“Why do you come here, Jake?" he asks.
“Because my mother is concerned," I respond, articulating every syllable.
“You’re twenty-two years old."
“Yea…" I don’t know where he’s going with this.
“She can’t exactly make you come here. You do it on your own."
“What’s your point?"
“Why don’t you talk to me?"
Because I don’t need to be reminded of it every single week! I just want to move on from it. I want to scream at him. But I don’t. I just sit here and shrug my shoulders again.
He sighs in disappointment, realizing that I’m not going down that road with him. “How have you been sleeping?" he asks, changing the topic.
“Fine," I say out of habit. But then I think about the case rigor mortis I’ve woken up with a couple times. The visitor who watches me lay there. Whole thing has me a little worried, Even if it is a dream, it’s not like any other dream I’ve ever had. “Except…" I blurt out without realizing it.
“Except what?" he asks sitting forward, apparently excited by the idea that I might actually have something worthwhile to say.
“It’s just that…" I trail off.
“Go ahead. Tossing and turning? Bad dreams?"
“I think it’s a dream. It’s happened a couple times now. It’s like I’m half awake, but I can’t move at all. I try, but it’s like I’m paralyzed."
He sits there and nods his head.
“And...I can see...something in my room with me. And it’s like watching me or something. But I can’t do anything. Can’t move or call for help. Nothing. But the...thing...it doesn’t do anything. Just looks…"
“Well I got good news for you," he says smiling.
I squint my eyes and let my mouth hang open, wondering what he could mean.
“It’s called sleep paralysis. And it’s not as uncommon as you might think."
“What is it?"
“Well it’s basically a disruption in your sleep cycle. Your body undergoes that temporary paralysis during REM sleep. Keeps you from moving around too much in your sleep. Hurting yourself. But what happens here is that you wake up when that happens. That’s why you can’t move."
“Just a hallucination. Whole thing can be scary, but there’s no real harm."
“What causes it?"
“Well, stress and anxiety are contributing factors. So you don’t want it to happen anymore...maybe you start talking to me."