I thank the floor for reminding me

I’ve got four assignment due next week. I’m very nervous. That is an understatement, I am totally, hopelessly nerve wrecked.

I can predict myself being a zombie for this week. No sleep, no rest, just work, work, work, work and more work.

I’ll be happy once this hell week is over.

That being said, I experienced one of the most surreal things last night.

I was reading a novel for one of my assignments when I fell asleep at my desk. I don’t know how long I was asleep but I woke up some time later.

It was around 4am and since I realized that I wasn’t going to get anything done, I thought I might as well go to bed to have a proper sleep.

I got up from my desk and the next moment, I found myself falling to the ground. I just collapsed and laid on the floor for several seconds.

Dazed by the fall and with my mind still fogged by sleep, I was thinking, “what the fuck?” while peering through my sleepy eyes at my bed. 

I tried moving my legs. While I felt movement, I couldn’t feel my legs at all. There was no feeling, just pure numbness. It wasn’t the “pins and needles” feeling or the muscle aches feeling. I could not feel or control the movement of my legs.

That was when, through my sleep foggy brain, I realized I was completely paralyzed from waist down.

I didn’t panicked. In fact, I felt completely calm. Although I was standing at the edge of reality and my mind was still trapped my sleep, I found myself thinking very calmly.

First, I needed to get to my bed. Since my lower body was useless, I dragged myself through the floor like a paraplegic.  It was exhausting, especially when I could not see straight. Although my eyes were half-open, they were completely fogged by sleep, so that slowed my movements down.

Once I reached the edge of my bed, I had to climb on top of it. I decided to test my legs again. I did sense some movement below, but it could be my imagination. I lay at the floor, contemplating whether to spend the night there. Bed sounded better.

With an insurmountable effort, I managed to step up on my right leg, forcing and willing my body to rise. My whole body wobbled on that single leg and I felt like an idiot, like an amateur playing hopscotch. I still could not feel anything below my waist.

Spent, I collapsed onto my bed and managed to lift up my lower body onto my bed with the help of my arms. As I lay there, I was trying to figure out what had happened when sleep took over me again.

I woke up the next morning.

For five minutes, I lay there, trying to think how I ended up on my bed.

I remembered falling asleep at my desk. But I did not remember going to my bed. After five minutes of hard thinking, I gave up and went to my kitchenette to prepare breakfast. Doing the same routine of my everyday life. Pour oatmeal, pour water, microwave it, mix egg with oatmeal, microwave it, mix honey and peanut butter with oatmeal, eat.

As I sat down at my desk, munching through my breakfast, I happened to look down at the floor to my right.

It was when every memory of last night came flooding back.

I now remembered how I ended up at my bed.

At the same time, I remembered how I was paralyzed from the waist below. How I crawled to my bed. How I tried to force feeling to my legs. Yet this morning, I got up as if nothing had happened.

Then, I realized.

When I ‘woke up’ last night from my desk, my brain was effectively still asleep. We all experienced that, being half-awake while still asleep. But what happened last night was that my brain must have been in a deeper sleep. And while my brain made the connection with my upper body, it failed to make the connection with my lower body. That explained the paralysis.

At the same time, because I was actually still asleep, even though I was crawling to my bed, it explained the temporary memory block I had in the morning.

I am not a sleepwalker, never was and never will be. But that was some really interesting stuff I experienced last night. In fact, as I thought about it, I found it quite amusing.

I thank the floor for reminding me.

The whole irony of this incident? The novel I was reading was Raymond Chandler’s “The Big Sleep”.

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