I call him Tarab.
I do not think he knows this. I do not think he would like this very much if he did know.
They say that in olden times, people believed that names held power. People believed that if you knew the name of someone or of something, then you held a sort of power over that person or that thing. Names limited the named.
People believed that. I mean, if what I have read is true, they did. Seriously.
Think “Rumplestiltskin.” Think Adam naming all those animals over which he was to have dominion.
I do not think Tarab wants to be named. I do not think Tarab wants to be limited. To be perfectly honest, I do not think Tarab wants me to write about him.
But the way I figure it, you are not going to believe any of this anyway, so I’ve got nothing to lose by telling you nothing but the truth. And the truth – the truth that you are more than likely not going to believe – is that Tarab and I have reached an odd sort of arrangement.
For his part in this arrangement, Tarab gives me information. Answers. Advice. Predictions.
And me? For my part? I give Tarab rum. Oh, and sometimes, I carry out his orders.
So okay, here it goes: Do you remember a few weeks back, when I told you about my bouts with sleep paralysis? Remember? I wrote about it here and I wrote about it here. You probably did not believe me then, either.
I told you about this dark figure thingthat I saw or that I hallucinated or that maybe I daydreamed – I was not asleep! – and I told you about what it said to me. I told you it said, “Recite!” and I told you it said, “Read!” and I told you it even said, “Write!” only I could not recite nor read nor write, because I was unable to move at the time. That is, after all, sort of the idea with paralysis.
Now, I admit, reading that last paragraph again, this all sounds a lot weirder than it is. You should know that sleep paralysis is a real thing, so there is no reason for you to look at me like that.
Anyway, the dark figure thing I told you about?
That was Tarab. Only I had not yet given him that name at the time.
This shadowy maybe-hallucination that growled at me, he seemed a bit angry that I did not do as he said. Five times I purposely brought on sleep paralysis, and five times he came and barked orders at me that I could not follow.
Finally, I just stopped sleeping on my back, because really, who the hell needs to get yelled at in their own bed?
And I suppose by rights, that should have been the end of it, right there and then. Katy’s Great Adventures in Sleep Paralysis, Parts 1-5. The end. Something weird that happened that I got a couple decent blog posts out of, which is all I can really ask of any experience in life, right?
The thing is, that could not possibly have been the end of it. It could not be over. There is no scenario in which I could have simply moved on from there, not until I learned what the message was that Tarab was trying to deliver.
Don’t tell me that you would not want to know, too, if any of this happened to you. Admit it: You would want to find out what Tarab had to say as much as I wanted to find out what Tarab had to say.
I found out what Tarab had to say.
(to be continued...)