I just had another hypnogogic hallucination. This time with birds.

I was taking a nap, and having weird dreams about Athena growing up to be a mountain lion. That she was a mountain lion did not surprise me at all, but I was horrified because now I had to find a home for an adult mountain lion before she went into heat and amorous male pumas started showing up on the porch.

I woke up and thought groggily “Oh, thank god, Athena’s a housecat,” but then promptly embarked on the heavy-lidded false-wakings that characterize my variety of sleep paralysis.

In one of the false-wakings, I got up, and went to the sliding glass door (this characterizes virtually all of my hypnogogic hallucinations, since I only get these when taking a nap on the couch) and looked out. There was snow on the ground, and my backyard had a fence made of logs and wire, and there were birds everywhere. The birds were the shockingly day-glo colors of reef fish–a pair of bright blue-violet and black sparrow-like things, one deep-purple and black that looked like a grosbeak but flew like a hummingbird, and one enormous fish/goose waddling thing that was also blue-violet and black, but had wet red lips.

“Aha!” I thought. “Birds are not this color, therefore I am dreaming. I should try to remember these!”

The purple and black groshummingbeak flew to a fence post and hovered, opening and shutting its thick black bill. The fish/goose waddled along and made kissing noises with its lips. (“Must be a kissing gourami,” I thought.)

A blazing, glowing scarlet shape trundled into sight between the trees, fire-engine red and glowing like a campfire. “Wait a minute!” I said, “that’s a DASCHUND! Daschunds aren’t birds! What the hell!?” and woke up, still paralyzed, but now indignant.

I took a deep breath–breathing deeply seems to release me for some reason–and was mostly awake, and then the phone rang.

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