Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sleepwalker's Dilemma

On my April expedition to Europe I bunked with a fellow who was a sleepwalker. Of the eleven nights we were on the road, he woke me nine times with his somnambulist antics.

A sleepwalker, it turns out, is highly susceptible to suggestion. I learned this the first night I was wakened by my roommate, who startled me from my slumber around midnight with a series of shouts.

"What's wrong?" I asked, midway between sleep and panic.

"Blah-bluh-blah-bluh-blah-ack" he mumbled.

"What was that?" I asked, a bit more focused.

He repeated his esoteric Haiku.

"Oh, you're sleepwalking," I said. I laid down and said, "Go back to bed and go to sleep."

And that's just what he did.

Later on the journey I was able to confirm with a physician who was in our group that sleepwalkers do in fact tend to readily follow directions while they're prowling. If I'd had my wits about me, I might have directed my friend to do something useful, like shine my shoes or iron my clothes. His dilemma, you see, could have been my opportunity. But I missed my chance; so it goes.

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