Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Dream On ~ Part 22
Arlyn paid and thanked the delivery man for the Chinese food, giving him a large tip for getting it to her apartment so quickly. As she turned with the giant bag, Cordel let out a low whistle.
“Either you’re feeding a small army of men who will be here shortly to kill me for what I witnessed, you think I’m as hungry as a lumberjack, or you’re as hungry as a lumberjack.”
“I’m as hungry as a lumberjack,” said Arlyn, “and I did order extra because I wasn’t sure how much you’d eat, but I’d hoped you’d eat with me while I explained.”
“Before you explain,” said Cordel, “I need to apologize. I shouldn’t have pushed you like that. Molly said to leave it alone, but I couldn’t. I needed to solve the mystery of you. It was so selfish and I am so sorry.”
“The mystery of me?” Arlyn shook her head as she headed to the coffee table and started to take out all the Chinese food containers. “I’m far from a mystery.”
“Says the woman who just passed out in front of me right after telling me not to call an ambulance,” said Cordel as he grabbed two plates and some serving spoons from the kitchen and brought them to the couch.
“Fair enough,” said Arlyn as she sat. Cordel handed her a plate as she sat beside her. She started to spoon herself out some fried rice. “First, I didn’t pass out. What you saw was called cataplexy.”
“What is that?” asked Cordel as he helped himself to some sweet and sour shrimp.
Arlyn added some sesame chicken and egg rolls to her plate, topping it off with some of the shrimp. Cordel eyed her plate. “You really do eat like a lumberjack and here I thought you ate only carrots.”
“I snack on carrots,” said Arlyn, “even though my body constantly craves carbs. I have narcolepsy, one of the symptoms is cataplexy another is being hungry all the time.”
“So tell me about the cataplexy,” said Cordel before taking a bite. “This really is the best Chinese food I’ve had in town.” He said around his bite.
“I told you,” said Arlyn with a smile. “Cataplexy is the sudden loss of muscle tone, it can look a lot like a seizure, but basically I can’t move my arms and legs or keep my eyes open, but I can hear everything around me, so thank you for not shoving the wooden spoon in my mouth or calling an ambulance.”
Cordel’s cheeks turned red. “So you heard that huh?”
“I did,” she admitted. “Also thank you for the pillow. That was very kind of you, next time though, no need to stare at me.”
“Will there be a next time?” asked Cordel.
“I can’t guarantee there won’t be,” said Arlyn, “but it is usually brought on by sudden, strong emotions, like a laughing fit, fear, anger, or stress.”
“Stress huh?” said Cordel as he poked at his fried rice. “Like someone interrogating you and threatening to hurt your best friend by getting her fired, because he’s a total jackass?”
“Something like that,” said Arlyn, with a forgiving smile. “Yesterday morning I didn’t answer the door because I had overslept and didn’t hear it or my phone. I was stressed from our argument the evening before, and didn’t follow my schedule. I tried to get back on track yesterday after I finally did wake up, but your questions didn’t help and then … bam … cataplexy.”
“So you could just fall asleep while we’re talking?” asked Cordel. “Just at any second, you could be snoring?”
Arlyn shook her head. “No, it’s only like that in the movies. I know when I need to sleep, when an event is coming on. I can usually get to a bed, or the couch in time. It doesn’t happen often because as well as the medicine I take in order to help regulate it, I stick to a schedule.”
“The schedule I agreed to keep when I signed the contract,” admitted Cordel.
“Yes,” said Arlyn, “but this isn’t all your fault. I should have been upfront with you. I just hate sharing my diagnoses with people. Once they know, they start treating me different and it’s like everyone is walking on eggshells around me. No one wants to trigger the narcoleptic girl.”