Thus quothe the goose, “HONK!”

Sleep came for me as Stephen Colbert quizzed Charlize Theron on the political message in “Snow White and the Huntsman.”    The lights in my mind dimmed as the pillow ushered me down and far away.  My dreams could have been about the Mines of Moria or painting a red door black.  There was nothing.  I was happily drifting in the in-between. Then there was a goose. No.  Wait.  It was a car honking.  You know the sound, the motion alarm that goes off when garbage trucks drive passed too close or you park near the train tracks when the freight cars go by.  My haze thinned, but remained.  Was it my car?  My car goes off all the time.  This didn’t sound like my car, but I didn’t really want to move.  Lambchop and the Monkey jumped into action looking for my keys.  I was as sure as any sleepyhead could be that it wasn’t my car.  Lambchop returned to a backdrop of honks and confirmed my suspicion.  It was in the church parking lot.

My haze was obliterated.  This demonic car was going to honk a while.  Then it stopped.  Lambchop and I shared the dark and the dread.  A few seconds later it was back, urgent in its hopeless need for attention.  It was 11:49pm.  I’m pretty sure the Catholics lock their gates by 11pm.  It wasn’t so loud that it was front and center.  If I turned on the TV, the sound would drown it out.  But in the silence I sought for slumber, it cut an uneven swath through the room like a jagged edge.

After several minutes, the incessant honking stopped.  Slumber approached like a timid doe, seeking refuge.  Honks broke the silence and the doe bolted.  I knew I could outwait the honks of a car that was probably nicknamed Christine by its malevolent owner.  Eventually it stopped.  Was it done?  I dared not hope for such quick resolution.  Silence, as precious as water in the desert.  Silence, short-lived.

My previously fogged mind was now a sunny day in July. I was determined to forcibly move these sounds to the background, compartmentalized them like Lucifer in Sam’s mind.  This was the Chinese water torture of the dreamless kind.  After a few moments, I decided to count the honks like sheep.  I had missed the first 20 or 30.  I wasn’t in my right mind, because when I got to 30, I started over.  When I got to 22 a second time, I realized the honks had stopped.  Was this madness?

I believe there were 3 or 4 more cycles of honks.  In my mind I was stuck in an aural Edvard Munch creation.  My inability to psychically move the discordant sounds to a box in the back of my mental closet troubled me.  Then the goose came back.  The honks were inconsistent and often incomplete.    The sounds moved from predictable patterns to a random walk, seemingly constructed to encourage irrational thought.  The goose became a duck as the honks truncated and played out into the night sky.  There too many birds in my bedroom.  Could their droppings be far behind?

Internally, a switch was flipped and the logical part of my mind realized that the Christine was running out of juice.  I was winning the waiting game, if I could recapture rationality. Perhaps I was losing.   I secretly hoped the battery was dead and owner would have issues with the car, receiving a karmic present of sorts. And I was tired. I couldn’t look, but I’m sure it was around 12:20am. Perhaps it was 2:30am.  Did it really matter? I put up no resistance as the Sandman came to carry me to a better place.