In this episode, comedian Mike Birbiglia first began a with a story of him in his bed with his girlfriend waking up in the middle of the night screaming because something was “attacking” him. He awoke his girlfriend and told her that there was a jackal in their room that was trying to get him, as she was in that half-awake, half-asleep state she mumbled to him, “Mike, there isn’t a jackal in the room, nothing is going to hurt you”. He then found it in himself to pull himself together and fall back asleep. Unfortunately for him, the dream continued. He said from then, he was terrified of sleeping. He stated that it was the same thing of death, “not being able to move, out of control of what’s happening, immobile and helpless. He dreaded the time of day where it was time to get in bed and go to sleep, he said there were nights that he would get very little sleep and that he had trained his body to function with little sleep so he didn’t have to encounter another nightmare.
The next story he shared absolutely shocked me. As a former sleepwalker, I had never in my wildest dreams encountered something as terrifying as this story. The story had started with him sleeping at a hotel in California on a business trip. He got ready for bed and was finally ready to sleep. Keep in mind, still beyond terrified of falling asleep he managed to do so. In the dream that he had described, he said that some military general had told him “Mike, there are missiles that had been fired from somewhere, that are only targeted to you”. he arose from his bed and began to sleepwalk. He stood still for a second, then full speed sprinted towards the window, and lunged out of it, and into the front lawn of the hotel. He said he woke up when he hit the ground only to realize that in his dream he had opened the window but in reality, he broke through it and fell two stories till he hit the ground. He then said he casually walked up to the front desk in only his underwear, bleeding everywhere and asked for another key to his room while the phones were going crazy claiming they just saw a man jump out of his window into the front lawn. He described himself as “The Hulk” when he gets angry he transforms into a big green beast, he said he ran so fast and out the window stating he had no idea how he did it, it made him feel like a monster.