Seeing Stars

20 05 2009

sharpie
My son fainted at school today. “For like, maybe, 13 seconds or something,” he told me after school. It happened during lunch. And the really disturbing part? He brought it on himself. Apparently he and his friend had a contest to see which boy can hold his breath the longest.

Roofie won.

“I started feeling dizzy, and then I started to fall back, and so I tried to hold onto the table,” he said.

“And then?” I asked.

“And then I hit the back of my head on the seat behind me, and the next thing I know, I’m on the floor on my back. I didn’t know what happened to me,” he said.

By this point, I was fully freaked out, but I managed to say calmly, “And then what?”

“It was like I went to sleep. Then, like, a few seconds later, I opened my eyes. I asked everyone what happened, and they told me I fainted.”

What bothered me most was that the way he told it, it was the most amazing experience life had to offer thus far, the sort of out-of-body trip one would expect at a Phish concert. I was afraid that in his little 7-year-old mind, it would become a sort of game, a thrill somewhere on that continuum with the choking game and Sharpie huffing.

“Did your teacher notice?” I asked him.

“No,” he said. “I woke up before we were going to line up.”

Oh thank God, I thought. I could just see the note I would’ve received following that incident. No need to fatten up his file this late in the school year.

I told him what he did was extremely dangerous, and made him promise me he’d never do it again. He looked at me solemnly. “I won’t,” he said. “Promise.” This is one promise I hope he keeps. If not, I’d like to at least do the honor of choking him myself.

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