My discovery in the dead of night

February 8, 2020

By Matthew E. Milliken
Feb. 8, 2020

I went to bed on Thursday night. Technically, it was Friday morning. Nothing about the preceding sentences is unusual for me. What follows, however…

Every so often when I’ve been sleeping, my mind will rise to a state of semi-wakefulness. Often, this is because my bladder is insisting that I go to the bathroom but the rest of me just wants to stay in bed.

After all, who likes getting up in the middle of the night? It’s often unpleasantly cool outside the bedroom, if not outside the bed, period; this is especially true in the wintertime, even one as mild as we’ve been having down here in North Cackalacky.

Even worse, getting out of bed means waking up, and who knows how hard it will be to fall back asleep. Getting out of bed: What’s to like?

Well, the need to pee often gets the best of me. But that wasn’t the case on Thursday night — or, to be accurate, Friday morning.

Instead, I was too hot.

Sweating-an-uncomfortable-amount hot. Burning-up hot. Really really really hot.

As I noted almost exactly six years ago, I sleep with a space heater. But I was so hot, I realized, that I’d need to turn the dang thing off — despite my desire to return to sweet unconscious sleep.

Groaning unhappily, I tossed my bedclothes aside. Then I sat up and leaned over to shut off the space heater. And that’s when I discovered that there was something was on top of it.

On Thursday evening, I’d tossed a sweater on the bed. I’d forgotten to remove it before actually crawling into bed and subsequently closing my eyes and falling asleep. And at some point overnight, I’d apparently knocked it off the bed and onto the space heater.

(Had that happened at the very moment that I’d gotten up to turn off the heater? Maybe. Frankly, I dunno.)

Although I use space heaters regularly, I have what I think of as a healthy (and quite reasonable!) fear of fires involving space heaters. So this discovery was particularly horrifying to me.

Anyway, I tossed the sweater back on the bed and turned off the heater. Then I lay down and pulled the covers back over me.

The whole episode probably lasted around 20 seconds. I suppose that I opened my eyes at some point during the incident, because I remember noting that it was still dark outside. But my peepers certainly weren’t open very long.

Happily, unlike many of the times when I wake up overnight, I fell asleep almost instantly this time.

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