In the fall I wrote about my brief flirtation with Tylenol PM, which I began taking after spending too many nights thinking rapidly for three to four hours after I laid down in my bed. During this period, I saw such things as my mirror writing messages to me and spiders covering a poster of Trent Reznor (which didn't surprise me that much), and one night I heard my clock radio giving Los Angeles a report on my life. None of this struck me as incredibly bizarre at the time. Once I attended a Bar Mitzvah where a faux-announcer made me an audio tape of a pretend wrestling match that I was competing in and winning, so you've got to understand that the clock radio performing a similarly personalized function wasn't that huge of a stretch. While I knew these sights and sounds were hallucinations, I just attributed them to overexhaustion. I only began to connect Tylenol PM to my fancies of imagination which weren't really experienced as fancies of imagination when I started using it as a sleep aid again this year, after spending some more nights at the mercy of my sub-mind. It insisted on on writing my third novel mentally without my conscious okay. And then I saw the wires coming down from my closet ceiling and the hands trailing down after them. And then I saw a long-haired guy with a knife coming in from my backyard to kill me. And then I saw a (different) man come in the middle of the night and steal my laser printer. When I woke up the next morning and found that my laser printer was still next to the bed, I was pleasantly surprised. Then I became suspicious. I brought up the visions with my doctor and he asked if I'd been taking Tylenol PM. Yes, I said. "You know there's a powerful hallucinogenic in Tylenol PM?" he asked me. "No, I did not," I replied. "That explains a lot." That was the end of the Tylenol PM, although I often think about starting a cult and lacing the punch bowl with the odorless and tasteless drug. And then I will say to the people in attendance, "If you go home tonight and see something extraordinary (or hear- you might hear!), then you have been chosen to join me!" I will charge an exhorbitant membership fee.
Anyway, what I'm currently on is Benadryl, for some bad, bad allergies. And while Benadryl is known to make the taker sleepy, it's the form of sleep that's really been getting to me. Consistently, while on the big B, I have "awoken" in my dreams before I awake in real life, except I am convinced that I am really awake, and the larger problem is that my eyes are glued shut. I know they're glued shut. The people in the room with me (people from my real life, and the room that I fell asleep in), know my eyes are glued shut, and they're really kind of pissed about it. I know that this is the case because my lids are translucent and I can see through my shut eyes, although I very much feel that they are shut. The friends and family members in the dreams (which I have NO idea are dreams while I'm in them) say, "Just open your eyes! Just open your eyes!" I respond, "God, you're so fucking insensitive! I'm trying!" I then stumble around the room, except I am not so much stumbling from blindness (because I can actually see), but because the pressure on my lids and the frustration that results from having no power over them is debilitating.
I tried non-sleepy Claritin, and it was a hundred percent ineffectual. So tonight, again, I sleep the sleep of that guy from the Alice In Chains Man In A Box video, and you would think knowing this before I fall asleep helps when I reach the dream, but it doesn't. I'm stupid all over again every time.