My friend often teases me about what used to be my favorite line in a story I wrote: “When night falls, so do I.” Now, I have  a new favorite line. These days I chuckle at “Things that go bump in the night-ME!” Except it’s really not funny because—you got it, it’s ME!

Last night I tossed and turned, getting down a whole chapter in my head. I decided since I wasn’t sleeping, I might as well get up and actually put my words down on paper.  Except, it didn’t pan out that way. I didn’t turn on the light. I slid a leg out of bed and took a few steps—in the wrong direction. I got turned around—much like Buddy when he goes over the hill to do his business. Afterward, he keeps going forward until he suddenly stops, realizing he’s headed in the wrong direction—I suddenly stopped, too. Or WAS stopped. By the corner of my closet. Ker-bang!

Buddy never howls when he gets lost or injured. Sometimes he stands stock still holding his paw in the air, looking pitiful and I have to go rescue him. Not me. I howled—a long, drawn-out sound that went something like, “Owww,Owww,Owww,wowowowoooo!”

Wide awake, I felt for spurting blood, rips or tears in my forehead area

At that moment, I remembered I had a bone density test scheduled in a couple of weeks. The doctor had said in a rather serious voice, “With all your tumbles and falls, it would probably be a good thing to see what we are dealing with bone-wise.” He added, “We wouldn’t want you to break a bone in a fall—with your vision being, ah, the way it is.”

I grinned watching him stumble through his words as he tried to put things delicately.

My real plea should have been, “Doc, find out the thickness of my skin. With all the bumps and bruises I get, I might wear it out and have to get a whole new covering. And how about this time, if I get some that’s a little less dry. No alligator skin this time, please.”

I touched my forehead with my fingertips.  No rips, tears or spurting of blood, nothing but swelling. In my mind, I heard my dad’s unflappable voice say, “You got quite a bump there on your noggin’ Did ya hurt the wall?” A glance in the bathroom mirror told me this was no mere bump; a goose had laid the golden egg–on my forehead!

I spoke to my reflection. “I need to get tough here. I’m calling in the cold guys!” I flipped on the light in the hall and carefully maneuvered myself down the stairs to my mom’s place. I sped into the kitchen and opened the freezer door, looking for the soft, mold-able ice in the white sleeve. Nowhere to be found. Finally, I settled on a square, hard-as-rock ice pack and trudged back to my apartment.

Once upstairs in my room again, I plopped down in bed. Ker-plunk—I squashed down my new swollen horn with the hard ice. “Owww. That hurts.” After about ten seconds, I got bored. The giant numbers on the clock near my bed—compliments of the Bureau of Blindness—said 3:00 a.m.

I picked up my cell phone to text my friend. (Yes, he’s that kind of friend). It also helps that he’s on California time. I texted him—GIGANTIC GOOSE EGG.  RAN INTO THE CLOSET.

He responded with his own quip—DON’T YOU USUALLY HAVE TROUBLE  GETTING OUT OF THOSE?

I giggled. He was referring to me mistakenly entering into a closet I thought was a hallway in the middle of a session at a writer’s conference.

A second text arrived— YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS RUMMAGING AROUND YOUR APARTMENT AT 3:30 A.M. WHILE YOUR CAT IS WAITING FOR YOU TO GO TO SLEEP.

I smiled again. In addition to Buddy, I have a cat.  Delicately put, my spoiled cat, Midnight, demands I keep her company any time she curls up and sleeps in my bed. Either that or she’s disturbed I’m not well-trained–by her.

A door creaked open. I listened. Slow heavy footsteps sounded in the hall. “What’s, um, what’s that … noise?”

I didn’t know what noise he meant—the sound of my text going out or a delayed reaction to my earlier howl.

“Oh, sorry. It’s just me. I hit my head and got some ice,” I called out to him.

“Oh, okay.” The footsteps receded. His door creaked open and closed.

We both have fears Mom will need us in the middle of the night.

We texted back and forth about the exchange between my brother and me. The words were getting harder to read—btorther,  zound sleerp, shoytinf. My eyes were getting tired. I could hardly see the keyboard. I switched off the phone and set it on my nightstand.

The next morning the cat batted the bump my forehead, as if entertaining herself with a fun new toy. “Oh no! I’ve become a sport!” I was laughing, or perhaps I was actually crying.  But a look in the mirror did a lot to encourage me.   The goose egg had gone down considerably. Yep, not much to see today.

“Buddy-boy, I’m back to normal!”

His tail whipped back and forth as he celebrated with me. Both he and I knew our victory would end in a couple of biscuits for him.

I didn’t mind in the least.

Midnight looked from Buddy to me. Meeooww, which in cat-speak means, “You fools. I’m waiting for my breakfast.”

On the grocery list this morning, my mother jotted down: NIGHT LIGHT.

I’m so grateful that God has placed me in the midst of people, some who help me to laugh at myself and others who seek to ensure my well-being. It’s an even bigger bonus to have animals respond to my dilemmas–a cat that pokes fun at me, or should I say, pokes me for fun, and a dog that adores me in whatever state I find myself. God promises to help us through our difficulties, and even when things go bump in the night, this is  a perfect example of how He helps me through it.

Things that Go Bump in the Night
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