Here's what I see when I am about to fall asleep:

A blob of faint blue, sort of a violet blue, congeals in my visual field. It shrinks, and as it shrinks, the color intensifies. It shrinks down to point and disappears. About that time, another large, faint blue mass is forming, and then it shrinks too. Each cycle takes a few seconds; the entire effect is one of travelling slowly backwards through a diaphanous blue tunnel.

I'm not sure when I first became aware of this, but anytime I pay attention, it's there. At the same time this is happening, I might have images in my head of things I've seen that day, stuff that's happened, etc., but the blue blobs are different. They are "really there" in my visual field, and, unlike the random things that pop into my brain when I am falling asleep, I can observe them with intent.

A similar thing happens to my Mom, but hers start as a point and get bigger and fainter, eventually dissolving. So I guess she's going forward through her tunnel. When we were having the conversation in which I learned this, my aunt and uncle (people I have very little in common with) were present, and they they thought we were both whacked.

One fine evening while talking on the phone with my boy late into the night, laying in bed, I rolled over on my side and I closed my eyes. And I was still listening to him talk, and it was actually somewhat entrancing, the soft muffle of his voice and his laughter and sometimes his speech incoherent, but all the same, plausible I assume. And as I closed my eyes, I swear I was just resting them, the most unbelievebly stupid image popped into my head.. green beans spelling out "HIV" on a plate. I started laughing. He asked what was so funny; I explained to him. He started laughing as well. I suppose this was my share of the bizarre images that we both experience while nearly falling asleep. And only a couple of weeks before, he had imagined every person in the world, except for me, wearing a gas mask. He asked me, "Aimee, why aren't you wearing a gas mask?" (insert bout of laughter).

The other night I fell asleep, but only half-way.
I was so tired the first measure of sleep
drugged me.

Left me vulnerable in the space between
the waking world and the dream state.

Too drowsy to influence control of my mind,
I stumbled through dark corridors
and passage ways

filled with incoherent codes and images
And undecipherable dream semiotics.

The shadows moved threateningly as if
seeking to attach themselves to the corners
in my mind.

I ask myself if I'd've escaped,
were it not for the light?

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