Two weeks ago, I experienced sleep paralysis. I was woken up by the heat (the fan was turned on, but the a/c was turned off) and an entity from a dream-like event that had me fighting off a formless creature that seemed intent to bury my head on the pillow and choke me using its non-hands. I also remember fighting off another formless entity that was hovering near my feet, as if poised to yank me out of the bed. The thought of being yanked off my bed was too much, so I woke up but didn’t open my eyes because I didn’t want to see whatever it was that was instigating the disorienting half-awake, half-asleep state I was in. I tried to take a peek into the early-morning dim.

Other things that I can clearly recall: I needed to pee but held it in because I was scared. I pulled up the duvet to cover my feet and to avoid getting pulled out of the bed, and I mumbled the Lord’s Prayer, which I can still recite (years of being a Catholic by default etched the words into my brain), surprisingly. I haven’t uttered the words ‘Our father who are in heaven, hallowed be they name, etc., etc…’ in years.

Then I decided to be really awake, ie, with eyes open. It was around 3:30 am, the fright hour. I tried to look up what I’ve just experienced, and all Google results pointed to sleep paralysis, which at least two articles from medical websites said was not due to psychiatric causes and was not the result of supernatural phenomenon, quashing any delusion I might have had of being special as to be visited by spirits. I would like to never be visited by any spirit (and to be fair, not a single one has, except that one time when my late mother visited me in my sleep many years ago, and she was of course wearing a white, flowy garment likely made out of 100% cotton — spirits don’t seem to like wearing anything with color unless it’s a bad spirit that prefers gray or black or off white). I had been visited by spirits that make one cum in the middle of the night aka the wet dream warriors, traitors who milk you while you are helpless and deep into your nightly imitate-the-dead routine.

I recently started updating my Facebook profile, and under religion, I stated ‘agnostic’. I wasn’t sure that I am that, but I looked it up in the dictionary, and realized that it is a perfect description of where I’m at spiritually. And yet when I had a brief encounter with a sleep paralysis demon, it was the words to Lord’s Prayer (which I am now title-casing because I owe the so-called Lord that, at the very least) that I recited, not lyrics to songs I consider prayers: “Piece of Me” or “Like a Prayer” or “All Nite (Don’t Stop)” or “Migrate”, all by divas that I claim to worship and regard as figures worthy of religious or cult-like devotion. Whether I was saved by the duvet or the Lord’s Prayer shall remain a mystery.