So it would appear that I have developed quite a problem with talking in my sleep.

It started out innocently enough, with my making a few random noises or comments that my girlfriend would hear and ask me about in the morning. In fact as far as I can tell, this little problem has developed fairly recently, but I suppose I don’t hear myself talking in my sleep when I sleep alone, and contrary to the mistaken opinions of some, I really have not shared a bed with very many people.

But from relatively innocent and only slightly embarrassing beginnings, it has started to escalate. Rapidly.

I became defensive after learning that I had a recurrent sleep-talking habit. My hunny would tell me in the middle of the night that I should stop talking in my sleep and I would start arguing with her that I was not in fact talking in my sleep, that she just wouldn’t listen to me or believe me. Yes, you read that correctly. I argued in my sleep about not talking while I sleep.

These arguments continued for a little while, with my girlfriend growing tolerant of my little habit and learning to block it out. I think.

Until Monday night.

She awoke to find me standing on the bed and touching the ceiling while clamoring that I had finally found the milk and explaining my efforts to try and keep it from leaking on to us. She asked me what the hell I was doing, and without answering, I started a preemptive argument on how this was really happening and insisting that I was not talking in my sleep before running to the bathroom to go pee.

Of course, during the day yesterday, I had to repeatedly restrain myself from laughing out loud, as I could only attempt to imagine the thoughts running through my darling’s sleep-stupored thoughts as she awoke to find me standing on the bed with my hands to the ceiling and going on and on about milk.

I think I must have rather vivid dreams that produce a vocal response, and may even tend to cause me to act out those dreams from time to time. A lot embarrassing, perhaps, but ultimately, no harm, no foul.

But what if my sleep-talking does directly relate to my dreams, and what if one, night, while sleeping next to her, I have a vivid dream and mutter some incriminating words?

I immediately fear the recurring dream where Richard Simmons kidnaps me to his hidden Sweatin’ to the Oldies sound stage and forces me to play strip poker with him using his damn Deal a Meal cards. At the climactic and horrific moment of the dream, when I cannot stop Richard from betting all his chips on a pair of rice cakes and I’m holding a full house, apples over pasta salads, and Richard takes off his candy-stripped shorts to reveal that he’s not wearing any underwear, what if I start screaming, “No, Richard Simmons, NO!” In a sleep state, with my face shoved halfway into a pillow, what if my girlfriend heard my cries of horror as “Mmm, Richard Simmons, Mmm” in a throaty tone generally reserved for back rubs and blow jobs? Would our relationship survive such an incident?

Anyway, I have started to feel that I have a real problem, and I don’t know quite what to do about it. I’d say I should try to start actively fantasizing about her as I drift off to sleep (as opposed to the almost constant state of fantasy I live in with her…), but then the risk that she’ll wake up to find me trying to touch her when she just wants to sleep seems great. I suppose I could stop trying to always find the milk, but I have no doubt that I would replace that with something else equally ridiculous.

I could always sleep alone. But where’s the fun in that?