Sept. 27, 2017 The Loneliest Couch

by Jennifer

When my husband is away on business travel, and I am without a petsit, I sleep at the office on a bare bones, black, knit couch. A peekaboo window emits light from the fluorescent tubes that burn incessantly in the hallway 24/7, so I don’t bother pulling down the shades to block out there light from outside. In a city like New York, it’s only when we sleep over in one of my husband’s office’s theatre rooms that we near calm, cloaking sensory deprivation, only interrupted by the rolling wheels of the overnight custodian.

I slept here all by myself!

The loneliest couch.

Waking up intermittently, I cease into a nightmare with each flicker of consciousness. Not many details remain, but for the first time, I distinctly remember “maggots” and “people,” but I’m unsure where the confluence between the two occurs. Whether the nightmares rise from poor sleep or something else, I wonder often.

I never sleep well when Sandy is away, likely for multiple reasons.

1. Up against his warm, soft body, arms wrapped around a taut torso that continues to marvel me on a 32 year old that spends most of his day sitting at a desk.

2. He’s emotionally calming. The 2.75 years that we have been together, unlike my last boyfriend, he’s never been one to share his stresses with me. Maybe because he chooses his actions thoughtfully and therefore doesn’t often fear repercussions or experience nagging guilts. My last boyfriend was a lawyer, and when he made a poor decision, his night sweats would soak the bed.

When Sandy is here if I wake inside a dream, it’s still a nightmare. They are all all I seem to remember anyway, so as far as I know it I only dream nightmares.

It wasn’t always this way.

I used to dream stories that felt good, that made me not want to wake up. I can’t trace when that stopped.

—-

Because of the constant glow outside any window in the city, I could not tell if I was waking again in the middle of the night, and groggily made my way to my iPhone plugged into the wall.

6:34a. Perfectly I had woken two minutes before the alarm would belt. I was grateful not to have to hear the alarm this morning, but simultaneously perturbed at having never “felt” asleep between the hours of 4:30a, when I had tried to fall back asleep from an 1.5 cave-in to insomnia, and now.

It was a busy day of work that began with a 6:45a appointment to meet the owners of a petsit that I would begin that day. Their first trip since receiving short notice of a promotion that would relocate Ferdie Lopez and his husband from the more bucolic Seattle back to NYC to manage a department of a larger, but struggling luxury apparel retailer, Nordstrom. It was a promotion of sorts, but one probably that made them feel they had little control over their lives.

Simply threaded bracelets knotted F’s wrists. They were so pretty on a man that looked so fit and manicured. Cool as a cucumber in his airy white linens…

 

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