Putting Maggie and Darcy to bed tonight, I was creeped out by Darcy's eyes rolling back in her head as she fell asleep while I read Little Bear's Visit. Sort of like when you see a boxer or a QB knocked unconscious--that noone's-there stare that is so scary.
This makes me think of all the drinking incidents when I was very much younger, when there was a period you don't remember, a blackout, yet you are told the next day things you did and said. It boggled my mind that a person could do and say but not remember.
That calls to mind the terror we've all known imagining a kind of sleepwalking during which we commit heinous crimes and are imprisoned for them. I'm not cut out for a stretch in the pokey.
When I lived in Naperville in my early years at the Daily Herald, I bought a bunch of hockey-goalie equipment on my credit card. At the time I had a part-time job at a Naperville coffee shop, from which some checks had been stolen. Apparently I was a suspect, and when I attained that status courtesy of the shop's owners, the police checked my recent consumer activity, and noticed the chunk I had charged for the sporting gear. Ding ding!
Two detectives came to my apartment, asked me to come in for questioning and fingerprints and and a handwriting sample, and flat-out told me they thought I did it.
That was one of those moments people describe as the ground shifting beneath them, complete with a swirling room. It felt unreal to be told a detective was certain I was guilty of a crime I knew I hadn't committed, to the point that I started wondering and fretting that indeed I had stolen checks and cashed them in a horror-novel case of Jekyll and Hyde. What if?
I never heard from the police after that, causing me to almost call them and rage in vain at how they could incite so much grief and then not let the accused know the coast was clear. I did let the shop's owners know how I felt, though. That was a good job, once you figured out how to make lattes and cappuccinos, getting the foam just right. I must have gained 10 pounds drinking cafe mochas (hot chocolate made with coffee instead of water and topped with whip cream).
Back to original thought alert!
It wasn't the first time I had watched a kids' eyes roll up, but I didn't have a blog the other times. It's not so creepy that I don't enjoy it, because it signals a worn-out child and a soon-to-be-free adult. It makes you want to capture that moment when you yourself fall asleep, the time right after the last thing you remember. I had a knee surgery once, the only time I've been put under. That was weird, and you think about the terror some people undergoing serious surgeries experience, as their anesthesia-countdown backwards from 100 could be their last action in this realm.
Everyone's eyes roll up, not just kid's, and it's jolting on those occasions when you are falling asleep in public to think what you must look like to others. You think that staying awake is all you have to do, but barely remaining conscious has a facial expression all its own and it ain't pretty: almost-closed eyes, a head that snaps up for all to see when you nearly doze off, and if you're really unlucky, drool is involved. There's a word that sounds like its meaning, drool. Like squat. Ugliest word in the English language.
Retroactive tangent alerts!