Falling Out

Soaring through slumber.

One minute, I was tucked comfortably between my super-soft T-shirt sheets, oblivious. The next minute I was shocked to find myself on the wood floor, dazed, with a throbbing bruise on the right side of my head. I had fallen out of bed, at age 28.

Once, when I was 10, I dreamt I was a trapeze artist, soaring under a red-and-white-striped circus tent. I could feel the breeze on my legs as I swooped and twisted midair.

I guess when 127 pounds hits the floor suddenly, at midnight, it startles a person, because my husband, Mike, came to the rescue — double-stepping up two flights of stairs to find me sobbing and incoherent. He brought an ice pack.

The audience gasped when my hands slipped off the bar, and I was falling, falling through space. I was falling, falling out of the top bunk, the floor rushing towards me.

With the room still spinning I curled my arms around my knees, dead bug style, and rocked on the floor for a while. I couldn’t process what had happened, how I had ended up there. I couldn’t remember any dreams at all — I had just been asleep, and then I wasn’t.

My lip was bleeding from where I smashed into a table on the way down. Mom and Dad held me, rocked me, brought me an ice pack. After a few minutes I climbed back up the ladder to the top bunk, determined not to miss the bar this time.

After a few minutes, Mike had calmed me down enough to tuck me back between my super-soft T-shirt sheets, and I drifted back off to sleep — and stayed in bed until morning.

Article © 2008 by Stacey Duck