There is a story on CNN regarding the death of a ten year old who was playing the “pass out game” and lost. That is the same name it was called when I played it, and I still remember the girl telling me “You pass out and have funny dreams.”

I was 16 myself and on a visit to my Dad’s. My neighbors were two 15 year olds who were well accostumed to being out in the sticks with little else to do. Thanks to these two jokers I got branded with my “party dots” on my right knee.

Vera demonstrated to me how it was done. Victor started to hyper ventilate by taking 30 big breaths in a row, really fast. At the last one he gulped in air, crossed his arms over his chest, and Vera smooshed him against a nearby tree. After a few seconds she pulled away and he collapsed on to the floor. He would out for maybe 3-5 seconds, and when he jerked awake Vera laughed loudly. They did these at least two more times before convincing me that it was safe enough to do.

I breathed and held, and they pushed. Now, to say that you have “funny dreams” is an understatement. You forget you exist. You don’t know where you are or even who you are. I was in that space in between for an eternity. When I came awake I was stunned. Two people stood over me laughing riotously and I had no idea who they were or where I was for a full few seconds. Then the memory of what I had done came back to me.

“Did you dream anything?” asked Vera.
“Yeah,” I replied slowly, still sitting on the ground. “I dreamed I wasn’t here anymore. How long was I out?”
“Like two seconds,” she answered.
“Oh.”

Oh she laughed at that response. I remember a moment later thinking I should have thought of something better to say. However, to this day the only thing I really remember is flashes of white in black, trying to leave that desert of nothing and my personal vow that I would never do that again.

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