Last night I was awoken, very abruptly, by choking.
Have you ever experienced that ? – in your sleep done … something ! that meant some saliva went down your windpipe ? When you’re awake and upright, all it takes is an opening of the mouth during conversation and a too-quick sucking in of breath to speak, and lo ! – for whatever reason, you’ve also sucked in something tangible … and you have to cough like mad to rid your windpipe of it and be able to breathe again.
I’ve done the choking-in-the-night only once before: it was when Stringer and I were staying at La Nuova Jera, the little hotel in Tuscany that I posted about in Paula’s non-challenge (on the other site) of a week or two back. As I said, the comune of Jera is tiny; so you will comprehend that the depths of the night mean, without exception, total silence everywhere. No dogs bark because no-one is moving around. And of course there are no vehicles breaking the absolute peace.
I don’t know when La Nuova Jera was built, but it wasn’t constructed as a hotel; and its internal walls and floors are not terribly thick.
So … at somewhere around 2:30am one week-night in mid-September 2000, I did a violent awakening-because-of-coughing in our room on the first floor, which was fairly close to being directly above the room of Sig. e Sig.ra, our hosts. There was no way I wouldn’t have awoken them almost as violently as I did myself and Chic, of course. This was bad enough; but the business of trying to rid myself of the stuff I’d sucked in went on for a VERY long time – something like an hour. At least ! Poor Chic … he kept telling me it didn’t matter, every time I apologised when I was able to (and then he somewhat irritably kept telling me to STOP APOLOGISING !) …
Eventually the airway was cleared; but what followed was even worse – the need to clear my throat roughly every 30 seconds. :-(
And that went on until light had begun to seep in around the curtains, at which point I must’ve gone to sleep – along with everyone else within the building. No-one ever said anything about it, but I was glad that we were leaving the following day: my embarrassment levels were astronomical. Let’s face it: when someone prevents you from sleeping for a very, very long time, you loathe ‘em, right ? – you don’t give a rat’s (_|_) that they didn’t MEAN to, and were not able to stop doing it.
So that’s what happened to me at 3am this-morning; happily, it wasn’t as terrible an attack, and I coughed for only about half an hour. I was awful grumpy, though, and muttered direly to Lui as I sat on the loo (might as well do something now I was awake) that It Wasn’t Fair. The subsequent throat-clearing went on for a bit, but not frightfully long; and I reawoke under normal circumstances – Lui scratching on my bedroom door – after 5.
The one thing of note re comparing the two incidents was that in Jera, all those years ago, I was terrified. Even in the company of my beloved husband, out of whose fundament I believed the sun to shine, I was really frightened. And this-morning, entirely alone, I wasn’t in the least bit afraid.
And here’s the point of this entire post: I’ve come to the conclusion that one’s fears are in some way associated with love. I mean that I suffered from fear of flying – at varying levels, most of which could be handled, but it was in truth there all the time – BECAUSE Chic was there. And I was afraid that night so long ago for the same reason.
In other words, I think it very possible that most of my fear was of leaving him alone and without me …