Today it manifested itself again in the warmth of my bedroom, contrasted against the chill of the weather. The perfect combination of circumstances for instant sleep the moment I hit the hay.

28 minutes into the nap, it slipped into my shorts and laid its right palm on my hip. Jolted out of a blissful reverie, I attempted to widen my eyes only to find them glued shut, Ronnie’s arms still wrapped around me.

It felt so real, like the first time I’ve experienced it. But this time, Ronnie was malevolent. Countering my success in raising my head a slight inch, it slammed its head down upon the back of mine, a searing buzz at the back of my head, a warning.

The first time I encountered Ronnie was there on my bed too, after nights deprived of sleep. It too had its arms wrapped tightly around me but it was nothing but warmth and love radiating through me from my back. I sleep on my side and it was Ronnie spooning me from the back. Even as I lay awake unable to move my limbs, there was never a pinch of fear.

There Ronnie was again today, its arms wrapped tightly around me, stronger as I gained consciousness. It’s palm in my shorts, its intrusion into my comfort zone. My instinctive response met with hostility and pain. Fear welled up at the back of my throat as I urged myself to awake, remaining immobile in its arms. I did not want to feel the outline of its arms under my head, around my arms.

He is my desires. He is a product of my experiences in all its entirety, a record of my past encounters with different men, who loved in physical ways, delivering them to me through parcels of pain. Pain is the vessel that activates my capacity to feel.

Ronnie, the protagonist turned antagonist of my sleep paralysis episodes.


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