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You know stress is getting the better of you when you wake up at 4:00am-screaming. I used to do this routinely. The Euro found it amusing, until he didn’t. Then he started sleeping in the guest bedroom because “you’re going to give me a heart attack and I’d really rather you not, thanks.” But that was then. Tonight he didn’t even budge. Tonight, someone could have killed me in my sleep and he’d have slept right through it.

It’s usually getting attacked by wild animals that brings me to the screams. When I was a kid I used to dream of goats and grizzly bears. I’ve always maintained that goats were little satanic creatures and once, when I was ten, I saw a grizzly bear haul up on his back legs. Hauled-up grizzly bears will scar a ten-year-old for life. I dreamed of that bear for fifteen years, and it was always tearing down walls to get to me. During college I’d dream of being chewed on by a wild boar. A big tusky thing with red eyes. It’d gnaw on my shoulder until I’d wake up in near epileptic fits. Tonight it was a jackal. You forget those things even exist until they start going down your stairs backward, then you remember there was one in The Omen.

I’m using my laptop as a nightlight at the moment and thinking I should probably get one of those dream interpretation books. But the last time I did that, I found out my maternity instinct was trying to eat me alive. I really don’t want to know what backward-walking jackals mean.

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