sounds that sleepers hear

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a drawer pulled open / picking up a cotton t-shirt / a drawer closed

     Every morning, I wake before my partner and start my day in quiet meditation. I try to move quietly, but it helps that Sam is a heavy sleeper unbothered by the clacking of my keyboard or the rattling of pill bottles. The only sound that's guaranteed to wake Sam is my top dresser drawer. Pulled open carelessly, the sliding rail clicks and skitters and scratches and Sam sits up with a jolt. Sam says the drawer sounds like a swarm of rats, but I don't hear it.

     Sometimes sleepers hear noises from the realm of the awake and the dreaming mind interprets them surreally. When I was a child, I was very afraid of the dark. One night the fear was particularly bad and, flooded with adrenaline, my heart began to pound so urgently that the beat echoed in my inner ears, warping into something sinister. As I finally drifted into sleep, I imagined that the thumping was escaping my chest and becoming real. The deafening, earth-shaking footsteps of monsters coming to eat me. I dreamt of barricading myself in the basement as they moved closer, destroying everything in their path. The crowd was lead by one monster who beat steadily on a small drum to keep their steps in time. As I grew more afraid, my heart beat faster. The faster they approached.