The state between consciousness and sleep seems so tender and thin it can seem like a miracle sleep ever truly arrives. When it does one is, of course, blissfully unaware. But some nights and mornings it can be real work, descending into the needed but frighteningly vulnerable state of unconsciousness.

I’m reminded of a Peanuts cartoon, it must have been a Sunday strip because it had extra panels. Charlie Brown ties a piece of string around Snoopy’s neck, then starts running. Snoopy rises into the air. Charlie Brown is flying Snoopy like a kite, as Snoopy asks himself why he agreed to do this.

The string snaps. Snoopy is no ærodynamic kite, as gravity quickly informs him. Charlie Brown looks up in horror as Snoopy plunges to the ground, smashing into millions of pieces.

The last frame shows Snoopy atop the dog house, mumbling that he really needs to stop eating that double-pepperoni pizza before going to sleep.

OK, let’s see if I can find that strip to see how accurately I remembered it.

Snoopy Gets Crunched to Bits

Snoopy Gets Crunched to Bits

My recollection of this strip is about as accurate as it needs to be, I think. The string didn’t snap and there was no double-pepperoni reference but it’s all good.

This strip horrified me when I was kid. It really did. I don’t remember how old I was but I remember gasping at the next-to-last frame, taking no solace in the closing frame that reveals it was a dream. Even as a kid I remember thinking it a weak cliché for writers to set up a bizarre or terrifying situation only to extinguish it as having “only been a dream.” NEVER FORGIVE SCHULZ for this one.

I found that strip over at IFTHEYWERECOUNTRIES.

I remember that strip any time I have a night like last night, where a pizza I gorged on way too close to bedtime sent my sleep no deeper than half-unconscious, with sparkly, brittle dreams I can not remember now.

Those dreams were only half-blossomed, cut short by whatever carbs or sugars or crack cocaine was in that damn pizza. I did not wake up feeling like I’d been crunched to the ground after being flown like a kite but it was a rough night.