We have a ritual at home. Jerod falls asleep on the couch; sometimes the kids sleep with him; sometimes the kids stay awake and jump on the bed and drive me crazy. Whichever scenario I go to bed at 9 p.m. I fall asleep around 10. Jerod wakes up with or without the children and comes thundering through the doorway into our bedroom between 10:45 and 11 p.m. I'm a lite sleeper -- the smallest noise or change in room temperature is liable to rouse me as it did this particular Monday -- or should I say Sunday; it wasn't quite midnight yet. I believe the time was 11:57 p.m. and three-quarters.
I'd been sleeping for approximately 45 minutes when Jerod and company startled me awake hovering over my bedside like the demon folk from Village of the Damned. Considering that I pleaded with Jerod a couple of hours earlier to get off the couch and come to bed so he wouldn't disturb me later; I was angry. The feeling of being startled from sleep is much like the buzz from 10-or-so shots of espresso -- needless to say I was wide awake and seething.
This was no random occurrence. I average three hours of sleep a night for the simple reason that my husband is too lazy to heave his diagnosed lard-ass -- I believe the medical term is bubble butt -- off of the couch at bedtime. I tried in vain to fall back asleep -- the later it got the more agitated I became so that by 12:15 a.m. I was the closest I've ever been to killing someone with my bare hands. Jerod was snoring away in blissful repose as were our two beautiful daughters while I resembled a heroin addict in detox clawing at the imaginary bugs on my arms and legs and rocking back and forth screaming at the trolls at the foot of my bed.
So I hit Jerod over the head with my pillow several times until he bolted upright with a loud snort and stared at me with a confused, stupid look on his face. I thought he might ask me what the trouble was or yell at me for waking him up, but he lay back down and closed his eyes. I attacked him again and and let loose a firestorm of poorly-planned insults and half-lucid accusations.
"This is all part of your master plan to get rid of me," I shouted. "I'll be out of the way, and you'll have the kids, and everyone will help you and give you all of their money, and you'll never have to anything ever again. You want me to die."
He shook his head, mumbled something that sounded like "sorry," and fell back asleep.
I screamed a lot and stormed downstairs where I lay on the couch for no more than 15 minutes grumbling to myself, "Stupid piece-of-sh*t a**hole, son-of-a-bitch d*ck face ... I hate you. I HATE YOU."
When it was quite clear I wouldn't be sleeping anytime soon I returned to the bedroom and yelled at Jerod some more about his twisted plot to kill me through sleep deprivation -- "You probably won the Mega-Millions jack pot, and you're waiting for me to die so you don't have to share the money, and you'll buy new carpet and remodel the kitchen and laugh at my funeral, because I never earned more than $15 an hour and you're a millionaire -- JERK."
Then I went to work -- at 1:30 a.m. And I still had to deal with traffic and idiot drivers AT 1:FLIPPIN'-30 in the morning.
The whole way to work I pictured Jerod sleeping peacefully in my bed -- I wanted to punch him in the face, but the girls had been positioned on both sides of him like human shields so all I could do was yell, and I do that so often that no one bats an eyelash anymore when I raise my voice. But my going to work at 1:30 a.m. -- that unnerved my husband. Perhaps he thought I was bluffing. Or maybe he gathered from the nonsense that was pouring out of the hole in my face that I really was that tired.
"I'm so sorry. Trust me," he said in a phone conversation later that day. "I'll never wake you up like that again -- I'm serious this time."