Friday, November 29, 2013

Tarab & Me

Now it was time to go to sleep.

The day had been long and full of lawyers and much yelling, which was the worst kind of day there was, really, unless you counted days with badger attacks and bone marrow biopsies in them. But days with badger attacks and bone marrow biopsies in them were really quite rare, while lawyers were practically a dime a dozen.

This meant that today was the longest and very worst day I was likely to see anytime soon, and although it was time to go to sleep now, the day was not yet finished.

Far from it!

I clicked over to my blog one last time, checking for any new comments that people might have left there. There were none. This was not unexpected, as it was Thanksgiving week, and Thanksgiving week, in my experience, was the slowest week for blogs that there was.

Next, I washed my face and brushed my teeth, taking extra care to brush the very backest back teeth, where the black things with many legs lived. I had it on good authority that the black things with many legs could make a person’s teeth fall out, and I needed my teeth for such things as chewing sushi and for smiling at pretty girls.

After I was certain that my teeth were quite clean and the black things defeated for yet another day, I changed into my nightgown. It was my full-length baby blue nightgown, the one with pictures of pivotal scenes from Lars von Trier movies all over it.

Then it was time to say my prayers. I knelt down next to my bed, I folded my hands exactly as I had been taught, and I prayed for Tarab to come to me and tell me what to do.

Tarab was the dark and shadowy figure that came to my bedside and crushed the air out of my lungs at night sometimes. I had read in books that Tarab might also be something called a “panic-induced hallucination.”  At first, that sounded crazy and scary to me, and it might sound crazy and scary to you, too, but it was real and it was not all that uncommon, really.

It was just something that happened to people with sleep paralysis. People like me.

Still, lately I had noticed that Tarab had been acting differently. Tarab had been acting in a way I could only describe as “annoyed.” 

It seemed as though he wished to give me some piece of important information, or maybe some advice. Although some people might think twice before accepting information or advice from a nocturnal, possibly demonic, panic-induced hallucination invading their bedroom, my life had been taking some strange twists and turns lately, and I figured it was important to take information and advice wherever I could get it. (This is probably as good a place as any for me to mention that Tarab was not  the one who told me about the black things with the many legs that lived in my back teeth.)

I had brushed my teeth, put on my nightgown, and said my prayers, and now it was time to get out the signs.

The signs in question were sheets of colored construction paper and had taken me hours and hours to complete. They were beautiful signs, all adorned with glitter glue and with gold stars and also with special messages for Tarab to read when he came to my bedside in the night.

I stuck the first sign to the wall behind my headboard with a red plastic thumbtack. On the first sign, I had written this: “Welcome to Katy’s room!”

I stuck the second sign right next to the first sign, but this time, to vary things up, I used a black plastic thumbtack. On the second sign, I had written this: “I am paralyzed. I cannot move or talk or write.”

The message on the second sign, although obviously not true at the moment when I had written it, would be true later, when Tarab finally read it. Tarab was going to read my sign!

When I was certain that the first and the second signs were perfect for Tarab to read – all straight and bright and legible from a distance – I stuck the third sign to the wall just to the right of the others. This time, I used a green plastic thumbtack.

On the third sign, I had written this: “Tell me what to do and I will do it!”

With the signs tacked up on my wall, you might believe that my work for the evening was finished at last, but it was not. I had several things left to do.

First, I giggled and danced around the room in my baby blue nightgown, the one with pictures of pivotal scenes from Lars von Trier movies all over it. You should have seen me dancing! I was so excited about Tarab coming to visit me that I felt like a child waiting for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.

Next, I switched on my stereo. I had set two speakers up near my bed, one on either side of where my head would be in only a few moments. Through the speakers, I played a sine wave at a frequency of 18 Hz. According to my research, this frequency sometimes caused people to hallucinate, and tonight, I wanted all of the hallucinations I could get.

Then, I looked around the room one last time, I sat down on the bed, and I placed a black hood firmly over my head.

Even though I had had such a busy day, I was so excited about Tarab coming to visit me that I thought I might never get to sleep!

I must have fallen asleep eventually, though, because the next thing I knew, I was wide awake again, and I could hardly breathe and I could not move at all.

That is when I knew Tarab was right there with me in my room, standing on top of my chest.

Why, if I had not been paralyzed at the time, I would have squealed out loud in delight!

“What sorts of amazing and life-changing things would Tarab have to say to me this time?”  I wondered. 

[Check out more cool art by koyamori over HERE!]


  1. So you wanted to provoke the nocturnal sleep paralysis monster? I can't imagine a chest-stomping cryptid would hold the secrets of the universe. But I have been known, neigh, renowned for my wrongitude.

    1. You have become the sole voice of reason around here.

      I don't like it.

  2. Tarab "Remember to flush and wash your hands after"

    just a suggestion... use a pink plastic thumbtack to hang your baby blue nightgown, the one with pictures of pivotal scenes from Lars von Trier movies, above your headboard. Tarab might be annoyed that you wear nightgowns

    I am reminded of

    Day after day
    Alone on a hill
    The man with the foolish grin
    Is keeping perfectly still

    But nobody wants to know him
    They can see that he's just a fool
    And he never gives an answer

    But the fool on the hill
    Sees the sun going down
    And the eyes in his head
    See the world spinning round

    Well on the way
    Head in a cloud
    The man of a thousand voices
    Talking perfectly loud

    1. If I had time, I would have illustrated this one myself. I wanted a screwed-up kids' story. I actually read the first three chapters of "Emily's Runaway Imagination" by Beverly Cleary to get into the right frame of mind...

  3. Did Tarab find Lars von Trier very...trying?From what I recall of the gentleman's oeuvre, I would have.

    Never had sleep paralysis myself, but once, many years ago, I came awake ready to kill. I was in an adrenaline rage, and probably would've fought for my life if anyone had been in the room. I don't recall any triggering dream though and the incident is still a mystery to me.

    1. The pictures on the nightgown move at the same rate of speed as the actual figures in von Trier's movies. Which means slightly faster than the figures in Andrei Tarkovsky movies.

      Sleep is stranger than I ever would have guessed during the years when I was knocking myself out every night.

  4. I would tell Tarab, "Go away kid, you bother me." If that doesn't work and if he replies that he hates dogs and kids, you are obligated to reply, "Anyone who hates dogs and kids can't be all bad." He will flee at this because he can't stand anyone implying that he might be partly good. All of these quotes are from W.C. Fields of course, but when you're that desperate for advice, W.C. Fields is as good as any, right?

    1. WC Fields invading my bedroom space to give me advice every night might be interesting... especially if he was in black and white. If he was in color, forget it.

  5. Bleack- sleep paralysis and night terrors are the worst- amiright? For me it is often a dark, thin shadowy figure who wears a hat and is surrounded by light (think demonic alien zombie Abraham Lincoln).
    I finally got my blog to accept yours on my blog list. It wouldn't before- it would just grind away and then say it couldn't.
    I had started to wonder if you were a real woman, a Texan or hecks a lesbian for that matter! Still not so sure you're not a 300 pound white dude eating Cheetos behind a monitor at an NSA anti sedition office so I'm watching my step...

    1. Uh oh. A website not doing what you want it to is the first sign that you could be dealing with a government site. That's what I get for getting Health and Human Services to operate my RSS feed.

  6. Ummm... I've been gone for a while...

    1. I noticed! Good to see you around.

      With these sleep paralysis posts, I thought about putting background links up top ("Before you read this one, read THESE)." But I thought it might be obnoxious and discourage anyone from reading on...

      So once in a while, some of these just aren't going to make sense. Which is fine.

    2. Thanks!

      And sense is completely overrated in my opinion.

    3. The times when i turn off the logic and thinking parts of my brain are the best times I have!

  7. I'm interested to know if you can lay out a roadmap of signs, for dreams and epiphanies to follow, while you sleep. I could get so much more done with the hours I've been given.

    And I hate the black things with legs!

    1. This past summer, i read a bunch of books about sleep, sleep paralysis,and sleep-related ailments.

      One of the things I read about was lucid dreaming, where you can control your dreams and do pretty much whatever you want inside of them for short periods of time. It seems like it takes an incredible amount of preparation and attention, though, so I'm not sure it would leave you with MORE time than you have now.

      If I could clean dishes and my kitchen in my dreams, though, it might be worth it.

  8. Ever consider the possibility your night demon is annoyed by thumbtacks? There you go, poking holes in his chamber, and then expecting his visits to go smoothly... That would be like me expecting my rightwing brother-in-law to make it all the way through Turkey Thursday without making a shitty remark about Obama... Unrealistic, at the very least. Maybe I should tack up messages to change the subject?

    And don't take advice from W.C. Fields. After WWII it was discovered that he had put lots of money in banks within Nazi Germany under various aliases. When asked why, he muttered, "In case the little bastard won!"

    1. WC Fields might have had the right idea. That's the same reason I pray to Satan every few nights. Hedging my bets.

  9. And then Tarab performed his immensely unfunny, three hour observational comedy bit about racial stereotypes. "Have you ever noticed how black girls be all like..."

    The horror.

    I've always wanted to try lucid dreaming. Or Ganzfeld hallucinating.

    1. There's nothing worse than an invasive demon whose jokes don't work. I hear that most demons are failed comedians.

      And... Oh wow, that site is cool. There's a book about blind spots!

  10. I dream about the end of the world...alot. Is it any relation to Tarab that is causing such dreams? I don't like it.

    1. I can ask him.

      I have some extra construction paper and glitter glue and tacks.

      I can write, "Who or what is causing workingdan's screwed-up dreams?"

      I'll get back to you.

  11. Ah! Nay-sayers, the lot of you! lol

    Dreams, hallucinations, they're all a product of our unconscious mind... and who wouldn't want to have a chat with your subconscious once and awhile? ;) Besides, it makes for an awesome read!

    1. Exactly. As near as I can figure it, what I'm doing is basically just a form of scrying - trying to get information from the subconscious to the conscious mind.

      Like crystal ball gazing or automatic writing.

      ...either of which would probably bee seen as weird, too.

      Oh well.

    2. My dear, we come to you for weird... ;)

    3. Nice. Another quote for my brag-page!

  12. So I read this earlier today and, honestly, didn't have anything to contribute at the time. But I'm presently experiencing my second night in a row of insomnia, and I'm starting to think that being visited by a night terror that I'm on a first-name basis with would at least make things a little interesting.

    1. The only time I've had insomnia is right after I stopped drinking and Benadryl-ing to fall asleep.

      It doesn't sound like much fun, although a lot of writers claim to write their best stuff during bouts of insomnia.

      Turn on C-SPAN 3. That ought to work.

    2. Well, there are definitely varying ways to approach insomnia. For example:

      1. Watch C-SPAN 3
      2. Use the excuse to dabble in creative exercises in writing and/or musicianship
      3. Visit "Lesbians In My Soup"
      4. Lay in bed and rage about the inability to fall asleep while doing nothing otherwise to promote/encourage falling asleep

      I went with a combo of 3 and 4, the end result of which was one useful comment but otherwise hours of annoyance.

    3. Haha,,, That sounds like what i tell myself every time I watch television: "I could be learning German or something right now!"

      "Lesbians in My Soup" is the best time-killer, though. Everyone should try that one instead of that other stuff you mentioned.

  13. Just a few questions:
    1. What did Tarab say? Did he tell you what to do?
    2. If Tarab told you what to do, did you do it?
    3. If Tarab did not tell you what to do, why didn't he??
    4. If Tarab told you what to do, and you did it, what happened?
    5. Alternatively, if you did not do it, what happened?
    6. And this is THE most important question: WHERE THE FUCK IS BELLOQ?!?!?

    1. On a few different nights, I think Tarab has acted as basically a scrying mechanism for me. If I ask specific questions, he answers.

      I'm going to write a blog post about the coolest of the stuff he said.

      I am a bit concerned that if he is in fact panic-induced (which is what the literature says), then if I grow to be unafraid of him, then my brain won't produce him. I'll worry about that when it happens, i guess.

      Anyway, Doctor Belloq is in Yemen for work. For a couple more weeks. It's just me and my terrible ideas right now!

    2. "It's just me and my terrible ideas right now!"

      Well, you know the old saying: "bad decisions make good stories ....."

    3. If I used drugs more, or became a mob boss or a vampire, this story would be fantastic!

      My bad decisions are of a fairly pedestrian nature...

    4. "My bad decisions are of a fairly pedestrian nature ...."

      There is nothing pedestrian about invoking Demons. Especially when they actually appear. And it is precisely the little pedestrian touches that makes it work so perfectly. The handmade glittery signs, for example.

    5. "Invocation to physical manifestation" is, like, the freaking Holy Grail of people who take magic (er, "Magick") seriously. And the ability to do it reproducibly is the stuff of legend. No wonder you are reading Peter Carroll!

    6. I think you might have been the one who pegged the Plant Drug Incident as potentially having more importance than I initially gave it. "It's not done with you yet."

      That incident sort of led into all of this, so you were right about that, for better or worse...

  14. I never rule anything out as far as spirituality goes, because I have had out body experiences while half asleep. That's a whole other can-o-beans. I do experience every single night what's called, "sleep jerks" -- where right before I fall asleep, I am partially paralyzed, until I get my breath back again and jerk up 'as if' I had a nightmare. Sleep apnea was ruled out. It's caused by sleep deprivation, and yes you can hallucinate, however one evening I went online to research more about these "sleep jerks". One gentleman had a Youtube video out explaining that when you lose the air while sleeping (EXCLUDING sleep apnea), that there are demons that try to take your breath away. To me, that's a scary thought because it goes against my grain (religion) and well, it's just scary! ha… But in all seriousness, and maybe I don't know you well enough, why are you inviting this dark entity into your room? Do you have your own set of religious beliefs or are you agnostic, spiritual, or other? I only ask because I can't see someone desiring an dark entity into their room. Remember, that these dark entities will come to you giving you information, appeasing your curiosities about the other side which may be quite appealing, but they have consequences. Please be careful. I read about three of your other posts about your sleep paralysis and this dark entity. I'm kind of worried. Hope you're doing okay.

    1. Hi, Deb! I try not to rule anything out, either, and I like freaking myself out. A lot.

      My mom used to jerk in her sleep. They were called "myoclonic jerks," and it made sleeping near her difficult.

      I am pretty damn agnostic, although i have such a background in Christian (particularly Catholic) theology that my default brain goes there when pressed.

      With sleep paralysis, I freaked the heck out until i read about it. It appears that when I wake up and can't move/breathe, my brain tends to want to blame an external force, and voila! Presence in the room crushing me.

      One of these days, though, I'll scare myself so bad with something that it will make me timid...

  15. Summoning demons for guidance? I only hear of people summoning demons for supernatural powers. Well, hopefully he's not one of those demons who doesn't stop pitching material goods in exchange for your soul. It's the worst when they bring out the pamphlets.

    1. Exactly! If I call him, then I don't have him beating on my door at 8 am on Sunday morning asking, "Have you heard about our dark lord, Baal?"

  16. Katy. Tarab backwards is Barat, which is close to Barak, which is, quite obviously, Muslim. Take heed and gird your loins for the coming onslaught of Christian soldiers, as Wee Willie O'Rielly got this one right..

    I need you to join my army to fight the Great WAX (War Against Xmas!). As a Muslim lesbian heathen, you offer unique perspectives in this fight for right. Fuck Xmas.

    "WAX on, WAX off, baby!" Let our battle cry be heard far and wide!

    1. Are they DOING Christmas this year? I thought they'd canceled it.

      My battle against God, family, and country is never done!

  17. I have always felt like dreams are just your subconscious trying to tell you something. I've been having a lot of dreams lately about birthday parties so I'm assuming my subconscious wants more cake in my life.

    1. Hmmm... Your subconscious could be trying to warn you about a baker who wants you dead.

      I never used to remember my dreams at all, but now that I do, they mostly seem to want to tell me that I ought to wear clothes in public.

      If I want to get more information than that from them (from what I've read about it), I have to spend a lot of time before bed focusing my mind on what information I want the dream to provide - which is basically what i was doing to Tarab here.

  18. No wonder you have sleep issues wearing a nightie like that.

    Please tell me it doesn't have a picture of a pair of scissors on it... ?

    ps I love this story, you should mebe get into writing childrens books..umm perhaps not (still thinking about those fucking scissors).

    1. Thank you for catching the Von Trier line! It was my favorite part of the whole post, and I was sad no one else said anything. I have to admit, sadly, that the nightie part was made up...

      I have been reading a lot of childrens books lately for obvious reasons, and I have decided they might be the missing element to my writing. I might incorporate the style into things more.

    2. Oh dark, disturbed, wrong movies are a favourite passtime of mine, if anyone was gonna catch that reference it was me.

      And should you ever want to actually own such a nightie I am a genius with a sewing machine...
      although why would you ?

      I always loved your blog Katy, but after reading back a way last night it does seem to have gone from strength to strength, your writing is brilliant (for what my opinions worth) - but I really love the sound of that idea. Dark fairy tales ? Very Guillermo Del Toro :))

    3. "Pan's Labyrinth" is my second-favorite movie. Guillermo's doing to a dark claymation version of Pinocchio with voices by Christopher Walken and Tom Waits and music by Nick Cave next, so maybe he can put that whole "Pacific Rim" thing behind him...


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