It was the summer right after my first year of college and I was gearing up for the next big chapter in my life. I tried my best to keep occupied with work as a head scooper at the B&R (that's Baskin Robbins), and the $4.00 an hour plus one free scoop of ice cream a day was really paying off. No need for introductions, many of you have already met my friend Mr. Bugles... a.k.a. my gut.
I've always had somewhat of a difficult time falling asleep and in most cases staying completely asleep. I blame this on having an untamed daydreaming mind and video games. On this particular week night, it was no different. After tossing and turning for over an hour in my bed, daydreaming about the time when I would one day be discovered by an NBA talent scout while shooting hoops in my driveway, thus propelling me into a life of fame, fortune and movie stardom, I finally conked out. Sometime after midnight, a sound awoke me from my slumber. I remember it very vividly, like the sound of wood scooting across a stone floor (whatever that sounds like?)
As I lay there, allowing my eyes to adjust to the darkness and not quite fully awake I became aware of someone standing in my room. Turning, I noticed there was someone rummaging through my dresser drawers. At first, I just figured it was my mother, who had become very apt at picking my bedroom door with the swab-less end of a q-tip to either drop off clean clothes or play the bugle by my ear to wake me up, but then it dawned on me that it was still very late and this wasn't my mother. No, this was some man, digging very loudly in my underwear drawer. Weird.
Again, I wasn't quite awake, therefore I was blessed with a certain amount of bravado that otherwise would not have been there had I been completely awake. Typically, when I discover strange intruders rifling through my boxer shorts I tend to feign sleep and pray that it would end soon. Not only was I not fazed by this man, I was a little miffed that he had woken me up. Rising to my knees, I scooted to the end of the bed to where I was within striking distance of the intruder. I balled my fists, readied myself, and screamed "HEY!!!" at the top of my lungs. This got his attention. As he turned to see what was going on, I hauled off with all my strength with full intent of clobbering him right in the face. That was when I completely awoke, in mid-swing. Turns out, there was no intruder there after all, but that also meant there was no one there to absorb my punch and so I collapsed to the floor in a crumpled heap of agony. I can remember lying there, my body contorted at an odd angle with pain in my head from where I struck the dresser as I fell, being very frustrated with how I had yet again allowed my night terrors to get the better of me. Defeated and embarrassed, I crawled back into bed and went to sleep.
That next morning, my dad came into my room right before he went to work.
"Frank, what were you doing in your room last night?" he asked. I was still trying to wake up and I couldn't remember, so I merely shrugged my shoulders. My dad went on to explain what he had heard. Apparently, sometime after midnight, he was also awoken by a strange sound. After taking a minute to try and figure out what it was, he wandered downstairs to make sure all was well in the Cole household. He checked the doors, the kitchen and even looked outside to see if the flag pole was making that strange thumping sound. On his way back upstairs, he discovered that the sound was coming from my room. Approaching my door, he listened to what he figured was me rummaging through my dresser drawers. This went on for a moment, but stopped suddenly when he heard me shout out "HEY!" at the top of my lungs and then there was a loud thud. He tried opening my door, but it was locked and he didn't have a q-tip. Figuring it was just me talking in my sleep, he went back to bed.
Once he told me this I remembered what had happened and we both had a good laugh. He went to work and I laid back down to sleep for awhile. As I laid there, a frightening thought occurred to me: My dad heard someone going through my drawers and I saw someone going through my drawers. Who could it have been? Dun... dun... DUN!!!
The answer? I have a twin!!!
No, not really, but that would've been cool, like those weird horror movies, when someone's twin who was never born emerges to reek havoc on... you get the point. Chances are, I was the one going through my drawers and I swung at myself, I've done stranger things, but still, the thought lingers. Was there someone else in my room that night? Someone from beyond the grave trying to make contact with me? Someone interested in my... underwear? The world may never know.