Everything is Simple

Sleep Paralysis

I just woke up from a dream in which I had “dream paralysis.”

This has happened to me, before, though not in a very long time — something like 7-10 years.

I recall sharing my experiences with this phenomena and finding out I wasn’t alone in this. I don’t recall any long-lasting effects, other than the striking memory of the occurrence.

Here’s what just happened.

I was laying in my bed, just having woken up from a dream. I couldn’t move at all. I looked up to the top of my futon and wondered whether or not I was having a stroke. At about that moment, I freaked myself out enough to wake up and find myself able to move half of my body. I hurled that half — my left half — in the direction of the upright on my futon, so that I could grab a hold of the bar and prop myself up. I was able to do this and ended up standing, beginning to move. As soon as I took my second or third step, I fell — waking up in the middle of another room, searching for either my mom or dad. I found my dad sitting on the couch, eating chips, and mom was nowhere to be found. Not wanting to disturb him, I turned around and headed out, toward a hallway. I woke up again, this time back in the paralysis. I tried to shake myself, make a sound, anything — with all of my might — and eventually I woke up in my bedroom. No futon, because I haven’t slept in my futon in some three or four years.

I was awake. I felt fine. I immediately went to my phone to see what time it was. 1:58. I had finished a movie at 1:30, turned off the television, and headed to bed immediately after. Somehow I was able to fall asleep, have that experience, wake up and walk to my phone within 28 minutes.

Now, I don’t know what to believe. Was I ever paralyzed? Is my subconscious this powerful?

Thanks for listening, Tumblr.

"The elusive image of a woman, glimpsed in the subway, orbits in the memories of a man his entire life. That unknown woman of the subway… a vague image, almost a reflection. The vision of hardly a second, fleeting and elusive; indelible forever. He had only seen her once. Others, he had compared them all with the image engraved in his memory. …the feeling of having allowed it to escape from his life… the most crucial instant of his existence… the woman that destiny had chosen."
—José Luis Guerín, Unas fotos en la ciudad de Sylvia (2007)

"The elusive image of a woman, glimpsed in the subway, orbits in the memories of a man his entire life. That unknown woman of the subway… a vague image, almost a reflection. The vision of hardly a second, fleeting and elusive; indelible forever. He had only seen her once. Others, he had compared them all with the image engraved in his memory. …the feeling of having allowed it to escape from his life… the most crucial instant of his existence… the woman that destiny had chosen."

—José Luis Guerín, Unas fotos en la ciudad de Sylvia (2007)

Aunt Elaine (1929-1968)
I wish I could say I knew her.

Aunt Elaine (1929-1968)

I wish I could say I knew her.

Philadelphia Train

I was on my way to the Suzie Brown concert. November 17. My first night in Philadelphia. I was staying with a family from my hometown who had moved to Pennsylvania a few years before. The man of the house walked me to the train station to make sure I didn’t get lost. Then, we talked about life while waiting on the train. The train was “late” according to the schedule we had, which had evidently gone out of date just the week before. We talked about school, girls, and music. But, mainly girls. The content of our conversation might find its way into a different post at a later time, but what’s important is a very small detail of my night.

About 10-15 minutes after we had arrived at the Rosemont “station,” a younger girl appeared. You have to understand, this train station was more like a bus stop, was very run-down, and far from looking like any stop in Washington, DC. Her arrival was more than noticeable, as she was a much lighter-skinned girl. The only other people at the station were the two of us and two older black men on the opposite end.

I don’t remember exactly what she was wearing, but I remember what I thought. I know her head was covered with some sort of toboggan which also covered her ears. It may or may not have had a ball on the top. She was wearing a light-colored pea coat, a short skirt, and leggings with tall boots. She was wearing those gloves that the fingertips can be adjusted.

The train finally arrived. I boarded and ended up sitting right across from her. Our knees were inches apart. The train ride was about 30 minutes long, that I recall. She pulled out her laptop, focusing intently on whatever it was she was typing. She was constantly looking at her phone and back at her computer screen, as though the information on either correlated with the other.

She had the dark hair, large nose, dark eyes, and full lips. All of my favorite features. She also looked miserable. Another quality I often find myself attracted to. Her skin was light, yet dark. She may have been Hispanic. Or Italian. I couldn’t tell. I tried not to stare and I think I did a good job. Small talk would have been so easy, but I avoided it. I could have even asked her a question about the train, as I was new to the system. But, I didn’t. I kept my eyes in my cell phone for the part of the ride when I wasn’t looking at her, her reflection in the window, or the attendant calling out the stops.

Her computer was a Mac. She had a sticky note on it, with a phone number on it. I remember that very well. I remember that better than the style or height of her boots. Eventually, we got to the 30th Street Station. My stop. She got off, too. I had another chance to talk to her, but decided to inquire at the information desk.

She disappeared. She was gone. I got my instructions on how to get to the venue and followed them diligently. As I walked toward the door leading to the street, I saw her again. She was standing, looking at her phone. She had a bag with her, too. I continued out the door and to the venue.

I never saw her again.