The night always brought nightmares with it. It was as sure to me as that the one word contained the other. They went together. My eyelids would grow heavy, and the midnight monsters would begin to rear their ugly heads, though I was not quite asleep. I always have had dreams of being stabbed through the back in the gloom. I am never quite able to see the assailant. But in that darkness as sleep approaches, I can feel him.



A habit I picked up as a child was to shake myself loose from the dreams.I would force myself to stand, wrap my blanket around my shoulders, and pad to the window. I find the gathering dawn to be comforting. The even light sopping up the deep shadows. The habit progressed in my teen years, I would leave my house, closing the door softly behind me. Then, barefoot, I would walk through the silent neighborhood alone. The delicate dew and empty streets in the blue dawn would remind me that there is no one lying in wait to hurt us. I would venture to the top of a hill, knowing nothing hid behind the trees. There, with grass under my feet, I would greet the sunrise and watch the world wake.

I liked that the darkness faded into normality.