Sleep terrors. I got them.
Every so often I wake up screaming, flailing my arms, sometimes falling out of bed. I have apnea, which contributes to the problem, but the terrors continue regardless of my beloved bipap machine, a device that keeps my throat from closing while I sleep.
My wife is used to this. When she hears me scream from the bedroom, if I go to sleep before she does, then she'll usually check in on me to make sure things are okay. After a minute or so of screaming, I settle back down and go to sleep without any memory of the event.
She is a patient woman, don't you think?
My ex-wife wasn't as patient, but I won't go into that. Instead I'll tell a story about her and myself and my terrors.
We were at an art cinema's screening of Akiro Kurisawa's "RAN". It's a long film, with subtitles and many slow moments artfully put together. Dream sequences almost. I sat on the end of the aisle. My exwife sat one in, sandwiched between myself and a friend Jim, who was visiting from Alaska.
We sat, we relaxed, the movie droned on...and on....and...
I burst from my seat with a high pitched scream, not just any scream, but a protracted scream of profound horror. Still shrieking, I ran up the aisle of theater, exploding into the lobby. The friend from Alaska lost his popcorn. He and everyone else in the theater. He turned to my ex, who was looking ahead as though nothing had happened, and asked: "Is he going to be okay?"
She at first pretended like she didn't know what he was talking about. Then, she shrugged and said: "He's fine."
Me? I returned a few minutes later, with a popcorn, candy, and a soda balanced in the crook of my arm, as though that had been my intent all along.
This incident sometimes haunts me when I attend live theater.
I guess I could pass it off as performance art if it happens again.