Maybe this is why you’re so tired sometimes when you wake up

Odin like goes into your bedroom when you’re sleeping at night? And stands at the foot of your bed?

Odin can see really well in the dark, even with just one eye. Remember, the other one’s down at the bottom of that, that pond of wisdom that giant guy drinks out of every day. Who’d want to drink out of a pond with an eye in it?


Look, he stands there, Odin, and looks at you sleeping there in your bed, he stands there in those black clothes and that belt  and boots and the one eye scrunched up  and looks at you with the other, piercing one and the long white hair and he doesn’t even try to whisper when he says, child you are beautiful and blessed and full of grace.

He holds up a hand when he says it, a hand that has held many a sword and old weapons like that.

Child you are beautiful and blessed and full of grace. Being a god, his voice wakes you up and you’re like, whoa, it’s Odin.

Beautiful and blessed and full of grace, and life is short so always do what makes you smile. Within reason, of course, you know the drill, but here is the thing: never wait until something is perfect, because you are beautiful and real and the beautiful and real are never perfect, only the creepy and fake are perfect.

And Odin stands there, like a negative image of Cab Calloway in a white suit,  and he holds out both hands and says, ‘inky dinky do,’ and does a little dance step, a sashay, to the left. Your ten-gallon aquarium burbles in the corner of your room, fish all fast asleep.

And the monsters under your bed stick out their heads and say, ‘inky dinky dee,’ and before you know it Odin is doing this call and response number in your room with the monsters under your bed and in your closet, the one in your mirror and the ones in the shadows cast on the ceiling by your curtains, even the little fellows in your wallpaper who, when you stare at the wallpaper long enough, march in long, crooked inky-black lines around your room like jerky 1930s animated cannibals only these are not racist imagry, they are not flesh, they are made of coal and ash and fire and lava, demons, or a cross between imp and demon and they dance with their little spears and Odin sings, ‘wagga wagga yappa do’ and they repeat it and the monsters repeat it.

And you sing along.

It’s a long number, and when it’s over, Odin says, when you wake you’ll forget all this, but remember what I said.

And you say, inky dinky do.

And Odin says, no, before that.

And you both laugh.

This happens about five times a week. Maybe it’s why you are so tired sometimes.


The Sense of Being Stared at by Zombies

This morning, after being awoken by kittens at 4 AM after spending my first night alone while my wife was away on business and my children skiing with their grandparents and aunt, and kicking them out into the hall and ignoring their scratching at the door and then falling back to sleep and getting up at 5.30 to feed them and the big cats and then eat breakfast and feed the birds and clean litter boxes and take a shower and shave, I went upstairs to get dressed and standing there in the walk-in closet found the phrase “The Sense of Being Stared at by Zombies” in my head at the same time that I heard something scratching in the walls, much like the sounds taken to be rats in the ceiling or attic, I forget which, at the start of the novel “The Exorcist” (after reading that as a kid I lost any interest in watching the movie), and so stood there, wondering on the one hand what new resident this was I was hearing, a nest of martens, perhaps, or rats or birds or demons (when I thought of demons, another phrase entered my head: “The bad thing about slicing open demons is more demons come out”) and on the other what would differentiate the sense of being stared at by zombies from the sense of being stared at in general, and if it was humorous to imagine Rupert Sheldrake discussing the first draft of his book ultimately published as “The Sense of Being Stared At” with his agent, and his agent advising him to take out the zombies then it might be okay, or if I was one of those people who should not live alone for an extended time.