Friday, February 13, 2009

Sleep With One Eye Open

It's like something out of Metallica's "Enter Sandman" song, inviting you to sleep with one eye open, clutching your pillow tight.

The other day, after waking, my four year old was complaining that his eyes were sore because during the night the Sandman had spread salt into his eyes.

I asked him to explain.

Alexander went on to explain how, at night, The Sandman comes into your room and spreads salt into your eyes to help you sleep. He used the term "spread" rather than "sprinkle" in a wonderful re-imagination of the mythology.

And, of course, he used "salt" rather than "sand."

I'm betting that this mythology from my four year old's mind comes from the fact that we live in a northern climate and he has witnessed the fact that the winter service trucks (salt trucks) often use a mixture of salt and sand to melt ice and offer better traction on the roads. This is particularly important the further north you go because the temperatures are often so cold that the friction of the sand is more important than the salt, which requires closer to freezing temperatures to actually work. Thus, "salt" and "sand" are easily interchangeable in his mind. It makes sense to me (having grown in a more northern climate than where I now live)

I explained to him how The Sandman spreads magical sand that helps put us to sleep.

I left out the technical explanation of the more technical term of Rheum which is a medical term for the natural watery mucus discharged from the eyes -- or perhaps more commonly known as matter, sleepydust, sleep, lagaƱas, eye boogers, sleepers, sleepies, sleepy men, eye gunk - (Thanks, Wikipedia).

But I think I much prefer his version of the mythology. And I'm curious, particularly given his passion for trucks, that he didn't explain how The Sandman left his big service vehicle parked outside and running while he nipped into the house to spread his sand. I could almost feel the throbbing of the still-running engine vibrating through the house from The Sandman's vehicle parked, running, at the curb in front of our house, a bit nervous about looking outside and seeing the dark frosted glass of the front window preventing you from seeing inside the cab.

It does inspire some interesting imagery, though.

Perhaps I'll use the concept in a short story one day.

1 comment:

lime said...

i just love the way kids take an idea and change it to fit their understanding of the universe. :)