I had a dream in which I was sitting on a train and talking to an ostensible coworker (nobody I know in real life) about programming languages and some of the interesting stuff going on in performance evaluation, when suddenly she asked me, “Dude, are you okay?”

“Yeah, why?”

“Then why are you turning bat-cave black?”

I suddenly realized that I was turning blue with hypoxia, and promptly woke up to find myself not breathing.

After a few seconds of hyperventilation, my first thought was: “Uncaught exception propagated up the stack.”

(I’m fine, but a bit concerned as I have no idea what happened. Also, now I have a headache. Chris did once comment about how I’d stop breathing in my sleep but didn’t snore, so this has been going on for a long time in any case — probably the only reason I noticed this time was that the context was interesting enough to, er, trip my monitoring. I don’t think it was sleep apnea, as I was sleeping on my side and it didn’t feel like an obstruction, and technically the fact I woke up makes it by definition not sleep apnea.)

I was looking at the wall of terrariums filled with lizards, iguanas, and other such reptiles. They all seemed tired and depressed, so I flipped the switch that turned on all of their blacklights, causing most of them to scintillate with fluorescent glows surrounded by a purplish light embrace. But the chameleon on the upper rung was still in darkness; one of his two small blacklights had gone out. Moments later, he scurried over to feel the love of the working lamp.

“Well, I guess we need to get that replaced,” Chris said.

He made a phone call and asked about going to the pet store for supplies. A few uncomfortable minutes passed. A uniformed police officer appeared at the door.

“You called for an escort?” he said.

As the three of us walked to the pet store down the street, Chris got on his cellphone and called ahead, asking about a particular blacklight by part number. “Also, one of my lizards had little bugs crawling all over him,” he said. “Any suggestions for what I should get? … No, little tiny ones, like…”

“Like ticks on a rabbit?” I offered.

“Like ticks on a rabbit,” he repeated.

The person on the other end made a few suggestions, Chris occasionally interjecting with an “Mm-hmm” or “I see.”

“Okay, then,” Chris said. “I’m on my way with my wife,” he chuckled, looking at me, and hanging up.

I grumbled. “I wish you wouldn’t call me that.”

He teased my hair. “What should I call you, then?”

“I don’t know… partner? Companion? I still don’t know what we are.”

I dreamt that due to FTC intervention, the laundromat started to let people into the secret place in back where all of the missing socks/underwear/shirts/relatives/etc. went. It was a huge, serpentine conveyor belt which went on forever in all directions, slowly but deliberately carrying a six-foot-deep pile of missing laundry. I was able to find a few of my missing pairs of socks pretty quickly. Strangely, everyone could tell what was theirs, and the honor system worked pretty well.

I also found some of my underwear, but I decided it’d be better to be safe than sorry and left it behind.