TV a sedative
I went to visit a family who lived in the mid West of the United States at the time. I was there for a wedding. They were not the cleanest of people and I wished I had gotten a hotel room, but they were nice enough to put me up for the couple days I would be there.
One night I was watching TV with them. At first, I was just squirming around wondering what might be growing on the carpet or crawling around in the couch. I noticed they had gone into some kind of trance. I was tempted to get up and dance around but settled on waving my arms around. Nobody paid any attention to me.
I believe I observed this phenomenon when I was a kid. We’d be watching something and when the movie or show was over it was revealing to see new or fewer people in the room. I tried to pay more attention to my surroundings after that.
Anyway, I figured I'd try to lose myself in the TV program they were watching. Just to get my mind off the dirty house. Well, it worked. I was able to pass the time without squirming.
While I was there visiting, the mother was hospitalized for some reason I do not recall, but I do remember going with them to the hospital. There was this small TV set attached to an arm on the bed. I can still see them huddling around the screen.
This time when their eyes glazed over, I walked from one side of the bed, behind the TV to the other side and back again. I did this several times to get some kind of acknowledgment. They must have been super polite or too far gone, because no one even looked at me.