Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The hoagie moment

I come from a long line of sleep-talkers, at least three generations of women who mumble and mutter and occasionally shout out directions while seemingly unconscious. My grandmother could famously be engaged, with just a little delicate prompting, in utterly dadaesque "conversation" right on the edge of sleep. I share this trait, and I live in fear of it--specifically, of the fear that in some important meeting I will suddenly begin blurting out responses to the parallel thread of dream that gets going, while I do the head bob and struggle to stay upright in my chair.

I'm still not sleeping well, or enough, off and on. Today I struggled valiantly through a product demo and later confided to Sis how near to nodding off I'd been. And she reminded me of the worst such episode in my past, which I would be wise to never quite forget. This was years ago now; I was in what must have been a lunch meeting, because I was evidently both sleepy and hungry. I rested my eyes for just a second, and suddenly was dreaming: that I had a giant, delicious hoagie sandwich in my hands, hooray! I opened my mouth, cavern-wide, to take a big tearing bite of this hoagie...and then I opened my eyes, to find myself sitting at a conference table, meeting still droning on, and my jaw practically unhinged with imaginary hoagie anticipation. There might have been a bit of salivating, a lip smack, just possibly.

I don't know, to this day, if anyone saw this and wondered if I'd lost my mind. I set off a quick volley of tics to mask the weirdness, a fake yawn wrapped in a...chin stretch, I don't know. Panic, disorientation. And disappointment, because that hoagie had looked goooood. At least, by some miracle, I hadn't spontaneously volunteered any information to the budget committee about the hoagie. I would not put it past myself, to have mumbled "no, it's dijon" while we were supposed to be analyzing spreadsheets. At any rate, it's become shorthand between me and Sis for that terrible teetering on the lip of consciousness, in the dullest meeting of your life. Hoagie moment. Now you can use it too! I won't mind.

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