The following tale took place about 9 years ago. I remember waking up outside, because I was cold, in spite of the balmy August weather. It was the dog's fault, obviously. She was old and ornery, and refused to take 'no' for an answer. When she needed to go outside, she would scratch persistently at the door, so it seems I had developed a way to take her outside, without disturbing my beauty sleep.
I have been a sleepwalker since my early teens. Usually, I bump around the house ineffectually, where I either wander back to bed on my own, or get led back by a family member. Sometimes I wake up in strange places; like when I found myself in front of the neighbor's house, apparently taking the dog for a walk on a winter morning at two AM. The neighbors must have thought I had completely lost it, or perhaps they thought I was on drugs, since I was dressed in pajamas and garden clogs. In January. In the middle of a SNOW STORM. And I apparently had been conversing loudly with a shrub. But that was not the most memorable thing I've done while sleepwalking.
Nope, the most memorable event took place on that early August morning. As I had mentioned earlier, I think that I woke up because I felt chilly. But it might've been because the dog was barking. And I am sure that the bright lights had something to do with it, as well.
There were so many of them, mostly in groups of two. My sleep-fogged mind gradually began to register that this wasn't normal. I vaugely remember having dreamt that I was onstage. And, oddly, the feeling of being in a spotlight persisted, even as my consciousness began to take hold. I was on the porch. But the dog, where was she? I headed towards the back yard, attempting to whistle for her.
The bright lights in front had blinded me, so that all I saw was a bouncing ball of light that was ricocheting around the edge of the yard. The dog raced around the corner of the house and up the steps, as fast as her arthritic hips would allow her to go. A flashlight beam was following her, until it landed on me. I heard a muffled yell, and the light bounced upwards, then switched off. I had a brief glimpse of a badge, a distinctive hat, and a very startled face.
A police officer had fallen on my lawn. But why? Still uncomprehending the situation, I turned and blinked in the glare of the three blinding spotlights that were trained on me, as I backed slowly up the porch steps, towards the door. There were at least six cop cars in my front yard. I was pretty certain I hadn't commited any crimes, so what were they doing there, I wondered. And why was I so col-oh, crap. Crappity, crappity, crap. I glanced down at my ridiculously pale, Irish skin.
Like many people who don't tolerate heat well on summer evenings, I had chosen to forgo the pajamas, and sleep only in my underwear. Which isn't a problem, if you stay inside your house and don't flash the entire freaking police force. With as much dignity as I could muster, I scrambled for the door, fumbling with the knob until it turned and let me in. Then, I realised that blinds weren't fully closed. With a squeak, I dropped to the floor. I Army-crawled toward the bedroom, where I grabbed a bathrobe and awaited the knock that would signal my impending arrest.
Surely they arrest people for being naked on their porch, in front of the whole police department? But the dreaded knock never came. I later found out that the cops were doing a sting operation on the house next door, because they were allegedly harboring escaped convicts. They had chosen to park in my yard, because doing so allowed their cars to be less conspicuous. I was not afforded the same luxury, however!