Wake Up or Die

Wake Up or Die

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“Go to sleep.
Its past your bedtime, you are eight years old.
You have school tomorrow.
You finished your cake and milk, now go get into bed!”

“Puff up my pillow, Ma.”

She does.

“Shut the light and go to sleep!”


Wow, the chocolate cake, was delicious.
Mom makes the best cakes.
My sheet is cold, oou…ahh…
I snuggle in, warm up,
the pillow just right.
I slide the radio under the covers.
I like the red dot and blue dial.
I turn on my flashlight and
read a Lone Ranger comic.


Tired, I shut off the radio,
turn off the flashlight.


I can see the movie houses on 42nd Street. I walk my mind between 7th and 8th Avenues looking at all the marquees and posters.
I can go into any movie house and imagine the movie I will see.

I walk past the ticket kiosk into the lobby.
The carpet is old dark red and green, an odor of city shoes and buttered popcorn.
The light is quiet, with a glow from the candy and soda counter.

In my wakefulness I sit down in the movie house
to dream my movie….a Western.



I know it is morning. I am awake but I am immobile,
paralyzed, I canʼt move, I canʼt stir.

I have to force myself up. I have to scream
but I am unable! Itʼs a deathly struggle.
If I stay this way I MIGHT DIE!
I have to move!

With all my will and all my might
I try to force a finger to move,
an eyelid to open, an utterance to emit.
Itʼs a real frightful battle, fraught in desperation.

I have to force movement.
I donʼt want to succumb. I could die.
I force a moan to escape, I hear it, I strain to twitch a toe,
I can almost open an eye but the eye lid hair and skin
are sealed shut with granular goo.
I canʼt move my arms or hands to pry them open.

An exhalation from the depths of my chest causes a shudder.
I moan, moan louder and louder desperate to scream myself into movement,
will myself from the dreadful clutch of the foreboding unknown.
I am awake!


I won this recurring recurring recurring morning. Iʼm okay.
I can get out of bed now, as if nothing happened,
except I have to peal the goo from my eyelids
with cold water and toilet paper in the bathroom.


I didnʼt talk about this to my mom and dad, brothers or sister.
It was all in my imagination. Was it?



Recently, sixty years later. I recalled this childhood experience
to a sincere friend, who understands Spirits and
communicates with Spirit Guides.

He repeated what Joseph, my Spirit Guide
answered when my friend asked the meaning of what seemed to me,
my childhood morning struggle to wake up from the fear of death.

Joseph answered: As a boy I
had deep connections with the Spirit World.
That I had difficulty expressing my
deep thoughts to anyone. In that sense
I was a loner.
That the intense lure to give in to the
unknown and perhaps die, to be with the Spirits,
was real, not imaginary.
My recurring intense morning struggle was
subconsciously deciding and fighting
to live and find out who I am.


It is scary….I wonder what would have happened if I
didnʼt fight to wake myself up, and allowed myself
the seduction of the foreboding abyss?
That was never an option. All my energy
went into waking myself up.

(I know now there is information galore,
from many perspectives relating to
“Sleep paralysis.”
Nevertheless, regardless, however….)

The Struggle never ceases.
It manifests in many ways.
The decision to go forward or not
is present, always, often times
disguised, subliminally lurking,
out of tune with momentary consciousness.
I listen, I accept when I am able to hear,
and tune the tone of my inner space,
grateful for the gift, adventure, mystery,
and most importantly, love.

In the most positive context…
I wake up or die.

To read the Paranormal Galaxy Magazine version click on the title Wake Up or Die

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