Batteries get sleepy. They don't die really. They just doze a little and curl up, yawning, the deep kind of yawn with watery eyes and two or three gasps there at the end. Then they sort of stare, glossy-eyed across the room. The conversation gets fuzzy, someone asks a question and they give that cute little NiCad head movement and say, "huh?"
Don't even bother repeating. It's best to just turn off the phone or iPod or whatever is occupied by those polarized little bricks and plug it in.
Tynan gets "tired leg" when his batteries go. His head flops to one side, the black dense Taiwanese hair bobbing up and down then up again. It never stays down. He has a way of leaving his jaw slack when his batteries are low, and then the leg. It hurts him, he says. I don't ever remember getting "tired leg", but I'm sure it's tied to the drip drip drip of energy that falls away at the end of the day. Then it hurts.
Tynan is so much better than he used to be. I mean now he deftly climbs the play equipment at school and scrabbles over rocks at low tide. There was a time there not too long ago... once he fell over onto his face. His hands didn't even rise. His coordination was damaged from lack of stimulation at an early age, and so it was his front teeth that broke his fall. Darned hands. So I guess tired leg isn't so bad.
Tonight I will put him to bed and watch as his eyes close, but not all the way. He scares Devon, who once looked over at Tynan in the car and seeing the whites of his eyes under the fast-asleep eyelids, covered his own face in horror and said, "Geez he looks creepy".
Tynan is the battery boy. Powered by them and suffering from their nightly demise. He's a dreamy one when he wakes up, but he fights for the last few volts at night. It is clear that you better find his charger if you want to finish that last sentence.