I am Han Solo but with Jedi Powers.

I wander through a post apocalyptic wasteland, driving Mad Max’s V8 Interceptor, fragging zombies with my sawed off shotgun pointed out the driver side window. A large white and steel gray husky sits in the passenger seat.

I pass the Loop Lounge and outside there is a long line of people clamoring to get in. Inside, all of my best friends, Erik, Aimee, Barry, George, and more are having a great time.

[pullquote]…black, nothing, a void of emptiness, fully conscious, fully aware that I was just asleep…[/pullquote]

I return home to my mansion where a bevy of beautiful babes greet me with kisses and come hither glances.

I am running late, my band is playing the halftime show at the Super Bowl; after all, this is the greatest dream ever.

Somewhere in Bloomfield, New Jersey, on the second floor of a modest home in the heart of suburbia, I am lying in bed with a huge smile on my face.

Back in dreamland, I dunk my head in to the Black Haus waterfall that flows through the middle of my living room, but then, something terrible happens…

The walls of the mansion begin to melt. It starts at the ceiling, slowly sliding down, dripping away, revealing nothing but black behind it. My gaggle of girls follow suit, melting and disappearing as well. One in particular, casually sitting on the edge of the waterfall, catches my eye and in it, she can see me fill up with despair. I reach for her, but like in oh so many dreams, she is tantalizingly just beyond my grasp. My legs have seceded from voluntary movement and I am unable to take a step. My dream has turned into an Edvard Munch fantasy.

I am waking up.

But then again I am not.

With the dream now completely gone, I am awash in a sea of black. Not darkness, black, nothing, a void of emptiness, fully conscious, fully aware that I was just asleep. In my mind’s eye I can see myself, lying in my bed. Next to me and under the covers is the form of a female figure; at my feet a cat licks his balls.

And I am paralyzed.

I cannot move a single muscle. You see, my body, my physical body is still asleep. My mind, my consciousness, has risen from dreamland but failed to coordinate with the physical side of me. This is sleep paralysis. I am awake inside my body, but I cannot move.

NightmareI force one hundred percent of my attention to the pinky on my right hand. I know, somehow, if I can get that tiny little digit to move, even just a bit, it will somehow break this spell and consciousness will wash over my physicality and I will be fully awake.

But I can’t. It is impossible – after all, I am paralyzed. I hope and I pray that my co-inhabitant of this bed will rollover as even the slightest jostling could stir me from my own prison. Or the cat, still at my feet, still going to town on the two things the vet took from him during his infancy. Anything, any kind of movement but futilely, nothing. The room is still.

Moments pass like hours. I feel the terror mount. I imagine this is what it must feel like to be in a coma. Fleeting images of The Serpent and the Rainbow zoom past. I am trapped here. I try and scream, straining every muscle I can.

Finally, the break happens, my hand twitches. I flex my fingers and the sleep of terror recedes like the tides. I sit up, exhausted, drained from trying to wake myself but I do not dare lie down again. I wipe away the tears from the corners of my eyes.

These little events occur randomly, with no precursor, any where from once a month to six times a year. I never know when it will strike. I have come to recognize the onset and, rarely, I am able to shake it off before it fully sets in. Because one of these days, I am terrified that I won’t ever wake my body up.

I get out of my bed, silently, why should I disrupt the sleep of my female friend? I look down at my cat, “Come on, Boogie. Let’s get you something a little more substantial to eat.”

I stumble out of the bedroom and start my day, bummed I never made it to the Super Bowl. Screw Janet, I was going to drop trou and moon the whole planet.