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Beyond the Lone Islands

Friday, 30 April 2010


alarm clock

In the middle of the night, I woke up, as I often do… Felt for the alarm clock by my bed, to check what time it was.

It was no time at all. The clock wasn’t there.

Strange! I had no recollection at all of having moved it. My first thought was of course that I had just happened to knock it down onto the floor. Perhaps it had rolled under the bed? But it wasn’t there.

So still half-asleep, in the middle of the night, I wandered all over the flat looking for it. It was not that I really needed it to wake up at a certain time in the morning.
It was the mystery I found hard to let go of. I had no memory at all of having had any reason the day before to take it with me into another room. And now in the night it was nowhere to be found.

It made me think of a daytime soap opera I’m watching, where recently one person has been trying to convince another that she is mentally ill, by moving stuff around for her and then accusing her of having done it herself… But no one else had been in the flat yesterday but myself! Spooky.

I gave up, took the kitchen clock and put that on my beside table instead, and went back to sleep.

Just after seven o’clock, I was awakened by a beep. The alarm clock! But not the kitchen one that was standing by the bed. Where on earth was the sound coming from?!

I got up and looked under the bed again.
It still wasn’t there. But it still beeped on, and the sound most definitely came from within the bedroom. Which really does not offer a whole lot of accidental hiding places.

At last I found it. It was stuck between the bed and the wall. How it got there, and why the alarm was set to ring, still remains a mystery. I suppose I must have woken up even earlier in the night and picked it up to look at it (I often do that instead of taking the trouble to turn the light on and put on my glasses); then fallen asleep again even before I had time to put it back. (?) The last time I had reason to actually set the alarm to ring in the morning was a week ago (but then I did set it for seven).

Seems I’m living in a soap opera of my own.

I’ve had some friends in my life who have told fantastic stories about things they’ve done in their sleep. One used to get up and take showers in the night; she only knew because she woke up with her hair wet, and wet towels in the bathroom.  Another sleepwalking friend I once went on a camping weekend with (back in my 20s), and had to wake her up as she was about to leave the tent and set off on a nightly stroll to who-knows-where… I remember her staring at me with her eyes wide-open, but talking complete nonsense.

As for myself, I’ve never been a sleepwalker, as far as I know. I.e. if I’ve been up in the night I usually have some recollection of it; and I’ve never before found anything mysteriously out-of-place in the morning!

I’m not sure what to think…

(It’s not my clock in the picture but it’s of similar kind and size.) 



Sandra said...

I am smiling, i do so many crazy things but sleepwalking I have not done, YET. when i saw the title Alarmed and could not see the picture, I saw it in my google reader that follows you, I thought OH NO now what. it is a mystery for sure. love love love the story. you do tell good stories. i don't sleepwalk, but my brother has since he was 4 years old, he did some wild things in his sleep when he was young and we would tell him about them the next day and he did not believe us. once he went wee wee in the trash can in the hall, sound asleep. we saved it to show him the next morning. i will have to ask him if he still sleep walks.
My clock in the bedroom is 3 inch tall red LCD numbers that i can see in the dark. i like to say to my husband, i woke up 3 times last night at 10:12, 3:29 and 4:04. ha ha on that one.

Ginny said...

I'm so glad that you found the clock. I love a good mystery, and you tell them well. Perhaps you woke up and picked up the clock to look at it, then when you put it back, you missed the table and it fell. Maybe that hit the alarm switch. Did the alarm go off the same time as it had been set for previously? My husband and son both sleepwalked, and I had night terrors, so I sleepran!

DawnTreader said...

Ginny, the flaw in your theory is that I keep the clock on the opposite side of the bed to where I found it. It makes no sense that I would pick up the clock from the table on my right side, then turn over and try to put it down on the left side; since I've had the clock on my right side for all of my adult life (in my previous apartments as well as this one)!

The only thing I can think of is that while lying on my right side, I picked up the clock up with my left hand, fell asleep again still holding it, dropped it in the bed and later when turning again managed to push it over the side where it got stuck against the wall...

GB said...

T'was the hobgoblins. Or perhaps t'was the time fairies.

'I remember her staring at me with her eyes wide-open, but talking complete nonsense.' I know people who do that all the time. They don't have to be asleep!

DawnTreader said...

Ah, so there are time fairies. That would explain it, then... ;)


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