Melatonin Levels

Morris: You look like shit. What’s going on?

Oscar: Oh man, I feel like it.

Morris: What? Are you sick?

Oscar: No, no. Last night I woke up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom—

Morris: Prostate?

Oscar: Yeah, my goddamned prostate. I can’t sleep through the night anymore. Some nights, I get up two, three times. I fucking hate getting old. Anyway, it was dark in the room, not a bit of light, except for the red glow from the numbers on clock. Three-seventeen. Quietest time of the night. But it’s too quiet, you know. The kids are asleep. Gloria’s passed out, not even snoring, right? Even the cats aren’t wandering. Too damned quiet.

Morris: So, you feel like shit because you woke up at three in the morning?

Oscar: No man. If that’s all it took, I’d feel like shit every morning, right?

Morris: So, what was it?

Oscar: You ever see that movie, Paranormal Activity?

Morris: Yeah, freaked me out. You watched that when you got up?

Oscar: Fuck no. Once at the theater was enough. And I didn’t watch any of the sequels either. Got to be sick in the head to watch more than one of them. Anyway, when I saw the time on the clock, I thought about that fucking movie and how shit always happened about that time. Things moved. Or there was a sound downstairs. Always. Three in the morning. It was like that demon was obsessive compulsive about that time of night.

Morris: You think the demon had OCD?

Oscar: Why not, right? I mean, maybe the knocking on the wall was part of it? Knock three times before entering a room? Maybe it straightened the house up while it was there, but no one noticed. Fuck, I don’t know.

Morris: So, what’s an OCD demon got to do with you being up at night?

Oscar: I went into the bathroom, lifted the lid, waited for the flow to begin, and my mind is on that movie. I was still half asleep, right? I was thinking about the time on the clock and how shit happened then in the movie. And I thought I heard something. I don’t know what, but it made me jump. I was convinced it was the goddamned demon.

Morris: So, what’d you do?

Oscar: I went back into the bedroom, snuggled close to Gloria.

Morris: Nothing wrong with that. You fell back asleep?

Oscar: No. I hadn’t used the bathroom. My flow didn’t start. I had to get up ten minutes later and go through the whole ordeal again.

Morris: The whole–Ah, never mind. You stayed in the bathroom long enough this time, right?

Oscar: Well, yeah…

Morris: So, you were scared, right? In the bathroom?

Oscar: Yeah.

Morris: Why didn’t you turn on the light?

Oscar: Well, Gloria says if I turn on light or if I look at my phone, I wipe out all my melatonin, and it makes it so I can’t go back to sleep. She’s a nurse. Who am I to argue?

Morris: So, let me get this straight. You’re okay with being awake because you’re afraid of a demon that’s not there—well, okay, probably not there—but you’re not okay with turning on a light because it might make it more difficult to fall back asleep. Yeah, makes perfect sense.

Oscar: I didn’t say I was rational at three in the morning. For Christ’s sake, I thought there was a demon in the house.

Morris: You didn’t sleep at all after that?

Oscar: No. But my melatonin levels were high.

Morris: Oh, Jesus.

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