Falling asleep.

Feels so good.

We all do it.

We all want to.

We all need to.

And we all appreciate when a fussy baby finally falls asleep.

Or the bed partner who suffers from insomnia.

Watching someone fall asleep is a good spectator sport.

Something magical happens.

We get a glimpse into another world.

A personal world.

Known only to the fall-ing-a-sleep-er.

You’re sitting there, maybe having a conversation with your brother.

His eyes start to close.

His head begins to fall forward.

He catches himself.

The head snaps back to upright position.

He says, “What?”

As though he hadn’t lost it there for a moment.

Conversation continues.

Then WHAM, eyes slam shut.

Head bobs to…and fro.

Eyes flicker open.

A desperate attempt to remain coherent.

No use.

He’s gone.

Right in mid-sentence.

The head falls back against the chair.

The mouth opens.

And next comes that sound we all know.

And (don’t) love.

The dreaded snore.

Watching a total stranger do this is really fascinating.

Anyone who’s flown on an airplane has seen (or done) this.

The other day it happened right in front of me in the chiropractor’s office.

And it was a well-dressed, older woman too.

I felt I should look the other way.

But I just couldn’t.

She was so vulnerable, so exposed.

There she went, head forward.

Sinking down into the chair.

Her hands went limp on the open magazine in her lap.

Clearly a position that did not suit her attire.

Nor her air of importance when she breezed into the waiting room.

And avoiding eye contact with the rest of us.

So it was with great interest (this is where the spectator sport really kicks in) to watch when they eventually called her name.

Utter horror and mortification consumed her as she realized in a split second the level to which she had sunk, literally.

She glanced all around.

We all looked the other way.

After she left the waiting room, I think I heard someone giggle.

That’s (not) Mason.


Read more poetry!

Renee Walker is a poet, writer, and real estate broker on the Square with her canine assistant, Buster.  


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